Get Inspired: Our Favorite Teacher Story of the Week

Our readers, along with celebrities and others, gush over the teachers they adore. Here’s our favorite this week.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Aug 1, 2014· 1 MIN READ
TakePart Staff

Inspired by our documentary TEACH, we got talking about how we all have a favorite teacher we often think of, but that we rarely share these important stories out loud. So we’ve kicked off a contest asking readers to send us stories about the teacher who’s had the biggest, most positive influence in their life. We’re donating upward of $10,000 to the schools of those teachers with the most and best entries.

Below, Alexis Turnbull shares the story of her favorite teacher, Joe Darrow, of Upland High School in Upland, Calif.

Mr. Darrow is an outstanding probability and statistics teacher with a great personality and commitment to his job that he does with great quality. Upland High School is a school where the math department is lacking, but Mr. Darrow proves to go extremely above and beyond the standards of being an incredible teacher. He is a teacher with personality that helps him connect with the students. With his room decorated with posters of his favorite things (including superheroes, comics, and Pokémon) and incorporations of his favorite characters into our math problems from time to time, the class became more interesting because we were able to connect with him as a person with interests, not just a person telling us math facts. What makes him a quality teacher is that his class is structured and extremely organized: We always checked our homework, took notes, and he did examples, and then had time to work on homework in class sometimes, and we could also ask him questions. He never moved on from a lesson until he was confident that most of the class learned the materials and would be prepared for the test. He is also committed to his job and easily accessible. He checked his email at home if we had questions and takes time to post notes and worksheets online if students are absent. He is also found in his classroom early in the morning and after school, willing to help anyone out with areas they were struggling in. The best thing about Mr. Darrow is that he is humble. If I tried to compliment him on how great of a teacher he was, he would turn it back around and say that he was just doing his job and that I was a great student. Mr. Darrow is a personable, quality, and committed teacher, and I believe he is the best asset to Upland High School."

Send us your story to help us grow the donation pile ($2 added for every story up to $50,000), honor your teacher, and possibly win money for your school. So tell us, who’s your teacher hero?

This article was created as part of the social action campaign for the documentary TEACH, produced by TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates.