Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thank a Teacher

When I listed a "quote of the day" yesterday, it reminded me of my high school English Literature teacher. She also taught English and she was an ideal teacher. She was respected and loved by all and she was frustrating. She worked very hard to pull the impossible out of each student. She knew what we had in us and we could not even imagine it was possible to read such difficult works and understand what we read.

I developed a great love for the classics, Shakespeare, poetry, and all this was developed by one woman who knew we could be more than we imagined. The one thing I will always remember is entering her classroom and looking to the chalk board, left hand top corner, to see her quote of the day. It set the mood for the classroom and it stuck with me all day. I sort of miss that.

So let this be "thank a teacher day", and in Mrs. R's honor, I quote:

QUOTE OF THE DAY "I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework." Lily Tomlin as "Edith Ann"


  1. I hope all teachers know how, really know, how they can affect the lives on the students they teach. Wouldn't it be lovely if the fates allowed your English teacher to hear a bell whenever you or one of your classmates opened a book. As to Edith Ann .....perceptive kid (that's why we all loved her).

  2. What a lovely thought, Mary, to hear a bell. This dear lady is still very sharp and living in assisted living. I guess I am really partial to her because her mother and my grandmother were sisters. No, I was not the class pet. Actually, I had to work all the harder.

  3. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Susan, you are so right in saying that Mrs. Ruff was a wonderful teacher. As a much younger fellow teacher I always checked into her classroom every day to see what she had written on her chalk board. I had no idea that you were related to her but that is no surprise, I guess, since a closed community like Amana would produce wonderful people like the two of you who would be from the same genealogical stock. Actually I doubt that you had to work harder because you always worked to the ultimate of any student I ever had the privilege to teach. That is the reason you received all of the honors that you did at the end of your senior year, including being the editor of the yearbook. At the time I think that was one of the most revolutionary changes that the community knew. You deserved all of the accolades that you received. RW

  4. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Your blog attests to the fact that all your life you have had the talent to write. I said to Gordon K (art teacher): "Thank you for helping Gunther (son) reach his potential." His response? "I haven't touched his potential." Mrs. Ruff was professional, disciplined and taught us good grades, favors are not a given in life. My Gretch is a teacher and I could not be prouder!! You taught awhile too, in local college? It takes a very special person to teach and RW is one of them. We in the Class of 63 were so fortunate even Englund with the brown thumbs. CB

  5. Anonymous4:58 PM

    Education is the basis of so much. Where would we all be if no one had bothered to teach us to read and then to lift us up with the literature that has transcended history--From Homer to Shakespeare to Fitzgerald.
    My husband left a legacy of students that he affected from a lifetime as a High School English teacher and a gifter resource teacher. And in retirement he continues. Knowledge is meant to be shared. The thrill of learning is a fire in the darkness.