This was difficult to narrow down but my all-time favorite teacher was Mr. Ed . He was my high school U.S. Government teacher . He had a long handlebar mustache that he would alternately twist with his fingers or draw into his mouth depending on the situation . His class was lively and he fostered healthy civil discourse amongst teenagers who were barely forming their own ethical frameworks . If you did not have a philosophical weather vane at years end you were barely alive for those two semesters . Here is a brief outline of his methodology :
* At the beginning of the year he quickly ascertained who was left of center , who was to the right . He announced very clearly that he was a registered socialist . At that time I fancied myself a socialist also and he certainly called on me to support him in his arguments . The classroom was quickly polarized . The undecided found it difficult to not take sides .
* At one point we were discussing civil disobedience and dissent . One Young Republican cited the need for law and order . Mr. Ed read a speech from a politician that could have been Nixon . The politician preached hard and heavy on law and order being the frame work of civilized society . A lack of such propelling society into barbarism and anarchy . The Young Republicans cheered in agreement . Mr. Ed states "The author of this speech is Adolph Hitler " .
* We were studying the seperation of church and state . Coincidently , the school had a mandatory meeting with a guest speaker . The subject was supposed to be staying off drugs . But the speaker was a fire and brimstone Baptist preacher and the meeting was a full blown tent revival . He would shout out "The Devil and the Supreme Court will not allow me to say His name but you know who I'm talking about" and hold the microphone out to the crowd who would yell out "Jesus" . Right in the middle of this escapade Mr. Ed turned to me and another junior marxist and said "I'm not allowed to storm out of here in protest but you are !" . Which we did .
* My junior Marxist freind and I caused such a stir that year we actually ended up being visited by an FBI agent trying to figure out if we were a threat to society . That would have been intimidating for any 17 year old if Mr. Ed had not laughed and told me he was proud of us .
I must say that a number of graduating seniors in the 1970's left high school with solid opinions on political issues and an increased ability to think for themselves . I know this was Mr. Eds goal . Thinking for yourself . Questioning authority . Proof positive was that Mr. Ed was not a socialist as I later found out . He was so right of center he was rumored to be a John Birch Society member .
Gotta love a man like that !
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I went to a Rudolph Steiner school for several years, and one of its philosophies is that a class has the same main teacher from around age six till 12.
Good if you like them...
Stephen was our teacher and we adored the guy.
There was a lot of hair and natural wool jumpers going on-We're talking the early '80s here-
He was really into storytelling: Greek myths, Norse legends and maths would get equal dramatic, Shakespearian treatment.
I'd be hard-pressed to drag too much ethics or philosophy out of it, but the guy's passion has always stayed with me.
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