Appreciating teachers: Brandman professors remember the ones who inspired them
May 7-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week with May 8 earning the designation Teacher Appreciation Day, both thanks to the efforts of the National PTA in 1985.
We reached out to some of Brandman’s School of Education professors to find out who inspired their journeys toward teaching. Three of the professors we chose are retiring this month: William Hale, Ph.D.; Carla Piper, Ed.D.; and Joe Walsh, Ph.D. The fourth person, Keith Larick, Ed.D., was recently honored as the Professor of the Year for Region 3 of ACSA and will be honored in November as the statewide ACSA Professor of the Year.
Here’s what are the teachers who inspire them.
Students from the Antelope Valley will remember Hale from his days as an adjunct at Chapman University College through his tenure as a full professor at the Antelope Valley campus, creating a variety of education courses. He’s contributed to Brandman through committee work and, including presentations about his work with adult students at various academic conferences.
“My favorite teacher was my ninth-grade general science teacher, George Fischbeck. He had a Ph.D. and was also the weatherman on the local ABC affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He made science come alive, and I believe I had perfect attendance that year. You dared not miss a class because it was so interesting. He was the same way as a weather man. Best teacher ever!”
Brandman’s Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership students know Larick for his unceasing work as chair of their program and mentor extraordinaire. School administrators know him as both a retired superintendent and as a transformational leader. “If teachers believe in you – you believe in yourself. Most often it is not the subject or how well a teacher teaches the subject but a feeling you are cared about, valued and have potential to succeed.”
“Miss Liszer, a college speech instructor changed my life and gave me the power of words.
“I don’t remember why I was enrolled in speech, perhaps I just needed to fill in my course work with an elective. The class was as much about writing as it was about delivering a speech. She encouraged us to tell stories that were true and had meaning to a topic. One of the stories I wrote was about my father who had polio when very young and was the first patient to be in an iron lung at Children’s’ Hospital in Los Angeles. He was released after a long stay in the hospital and was told he would never walk again. He did walk, played basketball and overcame his physical handicap with strength and resiliency. His story was my speech. It was about his perseverance and how such strength of character and mind can overcome many obstacles in life.
“Miss Liszer thought what I had written was good enough to be invited to go to a speech tournament. She said: ‘We all have stories that need to be told because they shape who we are and who we will become. Our stories of encouragement inspire others to higher aspirations. There is power in our words. You can do that.’ I had never enjoyed writing, I had never thought about the power of our words or that telling a story could change a life.
“Miss Liszer was an extraordinary teacher but her insight into the heart of her students and belief in their potential was a powerful gift that she gave to so many. I wonder if she knew how many lives she changed in Speech 101.”
Trombone player, rock ’n’ roller, tech maven, composer and teacher. All of those can be used to describe Piper whose teaching efforts are based at the Modesto campus but whose expertise is felt throughout the School of Education, thanks to her work helping the school earn accreditation from CTC and NCATE.
“The teacher who had the most influence on me was Mr. George Anderson, my band conductor. He was very strict and demanding, not all that warm and friendly. He took me all over Lincoln, Nebraska to perform on my baritone horn, playing for Elks Club, Veteran’s Hall, Masonic Lodge, Shriners, etc. Mr. Anderson constantly pushed me to practice by picking out challenging solos for me to learn from the Herbert L. Clarke cornet solo repertoire.
“I was given the John Phillip Sousa award at high school graduation, which was probably not the most popular award given. However, it meant so much to me and I thank Mr. Anderson (and my mother) for making me practice so much! I still love listening to old traditional American band music to this day!”
Listen to Piper’s junior solo: YouTube - https://youtu.be/RCfVju_668k
Many a student has faced Walsh, buzzer in hand, waiting to add, subtract, multiply or divide numbers in his or her head as part of Walsh’s math bowl.Walsh has been holding math bowls since he was president of the Math Association in Miami, Florida. He took the concept with him when he went to Mississippi, simplified it and changed it slightly when he moved on to teaching in Long Beach, California, and refined it some more when moving to Roseville to teach at Brandman more than 10 years ago. But it isn’t a math teacher he remembers as his favorite.
“My favorite teacher and the person most responsible for me becoming a teacher is Sister M. Antonelle. She is a Felician Sister and I had her for English my junior and senior years at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“Sister Antonelle's teaching strategies were far ahead of her time and we engaged in activities that high school students did not entertain when I was in high school. In addition to reading and discussing good literature, we wrote film critiques, learned about advertising, studied vocabulary in depth, attended Shakespeare festivals and Broadway plays and wrote extensively. We did enough work so that when we graduated, we were credited with six years of English. No one ever complained about the amount of work because Sister Antonelle was such a kind and caring teacher. We are still in touch today! Sister Antonelle is a wonderful woman who has made this world a better place.”
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