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)

Sep 12, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

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 lives. We’re donating upwards of $10,000 to the schools of those teachers with the most and best entries.

Below, Joe Osbourne shares the story of his favorite teacher, Jason Reed of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Ky.

I am currently a Ph.D. student in physics, meaning that I have taken a wealth of math and science courses over the course of my academic career. Looking back, there has been no teacher that has been more effective at integrating excitement and fun into a STEM learning environment.

I think what made this so apparent is Jason’s personal enjoyment for both computer science and teaching it to students. He made class enjoyable by presenting material in a way that clicked with high school students. His lectures were not boring in any way; it was as if he made them into a “story” of sorts where there was a clear progression of some computer science concept.

Not only was he an effective teacher in this regard, but he also is a fun person to be around. Jason will goof around with his students (when the time is right of course!) and make them laugh.

Every student of his genuinely was excited to go to class, simply because Jason made learning fun. His teaching methods are extraordinarily effective too, as he was recently recognized by the state of Kentucky as one of the best computer science teachers based on the percentage of his students that pass the AP Computer Science exam.

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.