I had two teachers who rocked my world. One was my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Britten. She was incredible. I was a mere shy, skinny, skinned-kneed 9 year old with stringy blonde hair and braces. She was not any old fourth grade teacher- she was the ACCELERATED CLASS's fourth grade teacher. She encouraged us to read "widely," to explore the world through books, to denounce foul language and embrace a large vocabulary to express our feelings instead. She told us we were tomorrow's elite (not in the way we use the term), the movers and shakers and world-class thinkers of tomorrow. I loved Mrs. Britten.
Another was my ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Ortloff. She was your typical evil "no one dare graduate high school except through me" English teacher, but she was the first to identify a writing talent in me, and often selected my work to read before the class as an example of "fine" work. Who wouldn't like a teacher who made you her pet student? lol She would sit at her desk and rap her Bic pen on her desk like a thin, blue woodpecker, and tell us in a deep, matronly voice, "THINK, people. THINK!"