This week is set aside to celebrate teachers all over the world; it's difficult to imagine where any of us would be without them. Night & Day Studios' founder, Nat Sims, and staff writer Chris Wrenn share some love for a few of their favorite teachers.
My parents are both teachers, and so they were my first and most influential teachers.
My dad, Professor Jim Sims, tried to teach me how to draw, and how to ride a bike, and even some Portuguese so we could go to Brazil. None of that worked out, but he did teach me to care about beauty, passion, and never to give up trying to make the dream in your head into something real.
My mom, Mrs. Lee Sims, taught me to love books, and that is the greatest thing I have ever learned. She also taught over 1,000 other kids how to read, and that’s pretty amazing.
My 11th grade English teacher Mrs. Cochran taught me that it could be cool to know things, to care about them, and to put myself in my writing, which I’m still trying to do.
My 12th grade astronomy teacher, whose name I’m ashamed to have forgotten, let me teach the last week of school, and I tried to teach everything from Möbius strips to the Big Bang. Which taught me a lot about teaching.
Dr. Phil Agre taught me 90% of everything I learned in grad school, even though I only took three courses from him. We covered linguistics, communication, cognitive science, computers, the Internet—and how to be a true supporter and advisor, which I lacked otherwise.
Grant Morrison and Scott McCloud taught me about comics, while Zach Weiner and Louis CK taught me about comedy. Jackie Chan, Wes Anderson, and Woody Allen taught me about movies. Edwin Tufte about graphic design; Iain Banks and Joss Whedon about storytelling; Jack Vance and my dear friend Tavis Allison about science fiction.
Now my little family of three teaches me something new every day. Thank you ladies!
Thank you all.
There are too many teachers I’ve loved to even begin to thank them all, but here are a few:
Ruth Hendrix gave me a book when I was twelve that I was far too young to read and it changed my life. Turns out, I wasn’t too young.
Barry Kitterman is by far the most patient and compassionate man I’ve ever known; he understands that foremost, a teacher is a guide. He gave me his time, and though I didn’t then, I now understand how generous a gift that was.
Lisa D. Chavez, more than almost anyone, taught me to have fire in my belly. It’s good to have flame.
David Snyder taught me that having questions is the key to having answers. That’s a big deal.
Hector Torres showed me that I am smarter than I think, because he just might be the most brilliant man I’ve ever known and I could hold a conversation with him. Sometimes.
Jill Eichorn illustrates what thoughtfulness looks like; it’s my absolute ambition to think as completely about a subject as she does.
Greg Zieren is a cocoon, nurturing and warm. His joy creates joyfulness.
Share thoughts about your favorite teachers with us; they deserve all the respect we can possibly think to give.