Students spill the tea on their most memorable teachers

Who was the most memorable teacher you’ve had and what made them special? Did they shape you or your education in any way?

Deja Gladden, First-year theater arts major

Eighth-grade history teacher Mr. Aminifu, Horseman Middle School Los Angeles

“He opened my eyes [to] a lot of topics and issues that are happening in society. He went over stuff that happened to Black people that I didn’t know about and other races. In his classroom, he had another room, but it was kind of like a dance room and he would take us there to express ourselves. He made me feel more open and now I’m able to talk to people about certain things. It makes me more open to understanding social issues such as abortion or discrimination.”

Timothy Chang, First-year pre-nursing major

Seventh-grade geometry teacher Mr. Plunkett, Travis Ranch Middle School, Yorba Linda

“He was literally everyone’s favorite teacher because he was really chill. He would play his ukelele and would play the Spongebob theme, and everyone loves Spongebob. We would also play Jeopardy and it was Star Wars themed. He’s a teacher that really personally connected with students on another level. It was one of the classroom environments where no one was afraid to speak up. It was a small class, it was not like a not a big lecture hall so everyone was comfortable. He addressed everyone as they walked in the door every single day.”

Shane Monahan, Third-year recreation major

Professor Tarantine, Long Beach City College

“One professor that really stood out to me was at Long Beach City College. I took one of her classes and told her about myself because I was struggling with an assignment. And so, I went to office hours and we talked and she helped me out. I was trying to transfer to [CSULB] and she was there the whole step with me. It was really cool because she followed up with emails and she was just really awesome. I thought that was really amazing.”

Alejandro Padilla, First-year political science major

Mr. Miller, West Middle School (now Stauffer Middle School), Downey

“The teacher that just immediately comes to mind is my middle school band director. He just kind of instilled this beautiful sense of discipline and appreciation for music and what it can do and the sort of experiences one can have and the sort of connections one can build through playing music and through meeting people. Music is innately a human process so it’s putting you in touch with your own humanity, your emotions and with other people. I feel like it makes you a more whole person and Mr. Miller showed me that. I love him with all my heart.”

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