Inspired By…

I am constantly amazed at how our crafting industry is filled with so many wonderful people. Inspiring, kind-hearted, talented people. So much inspiration.

This week, my friends at My Favorite Things are celebrating this awesome inspiration with a celebration called Inspired By…

I love this idea! Each day will focus on different topic:

  • May 11 – Tell us about an Inspirational Teacher You Once Had
  • May 12 – Tell us your Favorite Inspirational Quote
  • May 13 – Tell us about an Inspirational Coach or Mentor You Once Had
  • May 14 – What Historical Figure Inspires You and Why?
  • May 15 – What Artist Inspires You and Why?

For more information, visit the MFT blog – they will have prizes, too.

So today’s topic is about an “inspirational teacher.” Believe it or not, my most inspiring teacher was my high school calculus teacher. (Yep – before my crafting days, I was a math geek!) Mr. Watson encouraged us to work hard and be kind. This message really inspired me and is something I try my best to live by every day.

Mr. Watson’s encouragement and kindness inspired me tremendously. I ended up going to college and majoring in mechanical engineering. And I worked *really* hard. I studied a lot and had to put in more effort then most. I was really good at math, but the engineering stuff didn’t come naturally. But I put in the work, graduated with all A’s, and got a great job. I worked as an engineer for 5 years before I quit to work in the craft industry. And although I don’t use the math that Mr. Watson taught me, I still live by his most important lesson – work hard and be kind.

I would love to hear – who inspired you to do what you love? Please share in the comments below.

See you soon!





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70 thoughts on “Inspired By…”

  1. I was inspired not by a teacher but by a coworker. She and I were young, lowly secretaries at the same company. (*I* don’t think secretaries are lowly, but that was the impression given by other people at the company.) She enrolled in a CAD drafting program at the local college. I thought about how her career options would change once she finished her degree. I wanted those same options. So I did the same. Little did I know that this simple choice would launch me into a successful career in the computer science industry.

  2. My most inspirational teacher is Leslie Martin, the wife of Mark Martin, my former pastor at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Her love for the Lord and His Word shined through her like a beacon. I couldn’t wait to dig into the Word with all the other ladies every Tuesday morning. She not only shines brightly but her excited, happy voice, her enthusiasm always lifted me up out of my ordinary day. She taught me to expect God to speak personally to me through the pages of scripture, to eagerly anticipate and wait for Him. Her heart for women, for ministering to each of us made us all feel included…there were no cliques. Leslie lives the Word of God beautifully, her person, her teaching, her equipping causes me to be a much more mature believer and lover of God.

  3. The teacher that inspired me the most was my business machines class. Boy does that date me or what. Anyway, Miss Goodenough was my business machines teacher (that would be typing and adding machines). I loved that class. Miss Goodenough taught us how to use the machines and excel. Her positive attitude has inspired me throughout my life and working career. She had a banner across the front of the room that said “and the Truth shall make you free”.

  4. My 6th grade teacher changed my future. I would have been a functioning illiterate adult without him. Mr. Waite somehow realized I was not reading…but memorizing. Of course I knew how to read a few words but today I would be considered a “non-reader”. Mr. Waite took me aside, told me I didn’t need to read the required reading but I DID need to read…any book I wanted. I loved horses so the first book I picked was Mountain Pony and Pinto Colt. It took me forever to get through it, asking my parents what words were. Then I read another horse book…and now I am seldom without a book to read. Mr. Waite was a patient, obviously very observant, and insightful man. There have been many wonderful teachers that have inspired me. But Mr. Waite does stand out. Yes, I did tell him how he changed my life. I phoned him when I was a school librarian to thank him.

  5. My Communications 101 professor was my most inspirational teacher. I arrived at college 22 hours away from my family and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. While we were all stressing out about picking the right major, he taught us that the thing we would be remembered most for was how kind we treated others. I’m so grateful for the wisdom he emparted to us!

  6. I had a lot of wonderful teachers, and several stand out, but one that probably influenced me the most was my 5th grade teacher Mr. Monti. (Just having a male teacher was a big deal!) He was the first teacher I had who had us sit in any other way than desks in rows; my favorite was in a large rectangle with desks facing inward so we could all see and talk with one another. He was also the first teacher to read to us from something other than a “kid’s book” – he read Edgar Allen Poe! I grew up to be a teacher and always treated my students as Mr. Monti did us: as intellectually and emotionally mature beings. I learned from him that children (and adults, too) learn and behave the way you expect them to.

  7. Thanks for playing along with us, Jennifer! Here’s my story, as told on the MFT blog today:

    I want to tell you about a teacher who inspired me. He was soft spoken but firm. He would randomly burst into song and could quote long poems from memory. He loved geography, art, history, and music. He was a man of God. And another pretty cool thing? He was (and still is!) my dad. Yes, my dad taught all four of his children in the 7th and 8th grades, and he was the principal too. Talk about pressure! HA! But I think we all turned out OK.

  8. I want to tell you about one of the teachers in my old church. Since then, I’ve moved to another state and he has gone to be with the Lord. In adult Sunday School, he would talk about being the best person you could be. Always grow in the Lord, learn from Him and never want to be the person who just gets by by riding the fence. I always remember that when I’m still instructing my grown children when they come for advice and for being the person that my co-workers need me to be and who I need to be for my company and for my family. I want to be remembered as a person to whom I was the inspiration for them.

  9. My grade one teacher was so gentle, caring, and encouraging. Very inspiring for any impressionable child. The world needs more people like her.

  10. Like you, Jennifer, I was a math geek and computer nerd. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Jehle. She went the extraordinary mile to make sure her students would succeed. Her nickname was “Bunny” and everyday she always wore a bunny pin with her outfit. She was an avid skier. She was so proud of me when I scored 100% on the state math regent’s exam. I remember seeing her after the exam and she gave me a “thumbs up” and a hug and told me how proud she was of me and my accomplishment. I followed in her footsteps and became a math and computer teacher. I learned to instill confidence in my students from her-with a “you can do it” attitude. I learned with hard work you can accomplish anything you dream about.

  11. Wow, I couldn’t ever imagine that you were engineer. Now, I don’t feel so alone…lol. I am working as Electrical Engineer and have several times quitting but somehow never made sense to me.
    As for teacher, it was my aunt, she was a math teacher (now retired for about 15-20 years). She saw the potential in me and guided me where I needed to go. I came to love Math, I wanted to be a math teacher, too, but then decided to try more of “applied” math, so went for Electrical Engineering.

  12. I, too, was a math geek but, as a senior in high school, I had no idea what career I would be pursuing. I thought and thought and nothing would catch my interest. At the time I was taking the Advance Placement Math class and my teacher, Ms. Denis, suggested I go to the counselor to take some vocational tests. I did as she suggested and to my surprise the number one career for me was engineering. I had never heard of engineering until that day. I was shown brochures of possible schools and helped with the admissions procedures. I got into a very good engineering school at a time when women were just 1% of all engineers. Went on to have a great career. Now I’m retired and I dedicate myself to crafting which in these days my favorite activity. I especially like cardmaking. But had it not been for Ms. Denis who led me through those days of uncertainty I would never have become an electrical engineer.

  13. Mrs. Fitzpatrick, my 2nd grade teacher, was my most inspirational teacher. She always told us to be kind to each other and helped us to follow through with that if we were struggling. Later in life I became friends with her and the day she told me I could call her Louise was a memorable day to me. It was then that I realized that I had a dear friend that came into my life as a child yet was still with me in my daily life. She has since left Earth to become an Angel but I think of her often.

  14. Mrs. Madison was my second grade teacher. She always had control of the classroom, but she seemed to love all of her students. All through my elementary years I would stop and give her a hug before I stood in line at the bus to go home. She was an excellent teacher with high standards and expectations. I try to be like her when teaching my Sunday School class.

  15. Hi Jennifer
    I actually left my inspiration on the Inspired By blog. I have to say that I admire all women and men that study so hard to be educators. My Mother always said that teachers are angels with golden wings. She was so right! Thank you Jennifer and have a good week.

  16. Hand’s down, Mrs. Miller, my very tough, high school, Senior English teacher. Our grade was dependent on reading a CLASSIC novel each week (yes, each week). None of the traditional book reports, but orally, in front of the class telling what inspired us about the book. This taught me a lot about how different, NOT WRONG, people were because we all had different things to say about the same book which opened discussion as well a teaching critical thinking.Everyone had a perspective that related to their lives. As a class, we all loved Senior English. We still talk about this amazing woman who taught us so many valuable lessons.

  17. 1)I can’t possibly choose one inspiring teacher, two is absolutely my bare minimum. My first inspiring teacher was Mrs Mary Morris from St. Mary’s catholic school. I had her in the forth grade and man was she neat. Not because of anything in particular but because of who she was; a tender, loving and compassionate lady who treated us like we were her own children.
    Imagine my excitement when events and a limited budget for teachers caused my to get her as my fifth and seventh grade teachers too! She always cared if we were sad or hurting and went the extra mile to help us through it, even when most teachers would avoid it because of privacy issues. She always put us, “Her Kids” first and she inspired me to improve myself so she would be proud of me.
    2) My Earth Science teacher Mr. Loose at Dumont High School in Dumont, New Jersey. In my freshman year I had a peculiar burst of friendships I had not known prior in elementary school and this led to a few to many good times (If you can imagine) . Basically it’s all a haze and the entire year was basically a wash out grade wise and for the exception of attendance I’d pretty much flunked every class I took, colossal FAIL

  18. Mrs. Boss, my middle school home economics teacher inspired me! She encouraged and allowed me to do many creative projects in sewing and cooking, which even incorporated independent study projects applied to math and the sciences!

  19. Part 2- Mr Loose challenged me to come to his Earth Science class the next year and Ace it and if I’d sware I would he would pass me with a D – and I would be a sophomore the next year with my friends. Well I showed him I could do it and the following year I sat in the front row of his Earth science class and got an A+ for the year. He was very proud of me and that felt a lot better than failing

  20. I guess the teacher that inspired me the most was my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Wilson. She always said to have goals. If you try hard, keep trying and do your best, you will reach your goals. You may not reach them the first time. but don’t give up. Keep trying. I remember what she said to this day and she was right. So, I set goals, every day. I may not get everything accomplished today…or even tomorrow but I will get there.

  21. Mr. Soppe in high school college prep English class was my inspiration. He was a substitute for the “real” teacher who was ill. He was only ours for a couple months, but they were remarkable. He told us after two days that we were college prep and we already knew the curriculum so he would teach us about life and how to be good people. He talked to us as if we were his equal and made us aware of the needs, wants, yearnings of others — especially our classmates. He helped us to look for the good in all things, especially (again) our classmates. He was kind and caring — good things for high schoolers to emulate.
    Thanks for making me remember

  22. It has been a long time since I have been in school but I would have to say all my music teachers inspired me. I had 5 different ones and they all were remarkable in their own way. They all always pushed me to be better and playing my violin and at my singing. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to be in as many performances and have solo’s like I did. I was even chosen one year to go to a special school for the summer to be in a symphony. I was second chair. It was absolutely an amazing experience!!

  23. In 4th grade I was very shy and always followed the rules. There was a little redheaded boy who sat in front of me (we had the really old-fashioned desks where the seat of one desk was attached to the front of the desk behind) He would turn around and watch when I was writing and wiggle so my writing would be messed up. One day he turned around and put his forearm, palm up, on my desk. I guess I had just had it with his antics. I jammed my freshly sharpened pencil into the fleshy part under his thumb. I think I was as shocked as he was. He waived his punctured hand in the air and yelled, “Mrs. Peckham, Mrs. Peckham! Look what Dolly (my nickname) did to me. She threw a brief glance over her shoulder and said, “You probably deserved it.” and continued writing on the blackboard. I loved her from that moment on and determined to be a teacher just like her. I did become a teacher.

  24. My 6th grade teacher Mr. Bruce Anderson has always inspired me. He was also my coach & leader of our Student Government. I went to a rather small school & he took on many roles & wore many hats. Mind you he was also a husband and a father! He was always kind and made time for us kids. He’d even pick us up and take us to practice and our games. Till today he is still involved with the schools & is a high school principal. I invited him to my high school graduation & he was the first person who congratulated me after the ceremony! A wonderful and true gentleman!!

  25. I have to say my fifth grade teacher inspired my love of reading, she started to read a chapter each day of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and I was enthralled.

  26. I’ve had so many great teachers over the years, from my 3rd grade teacher who was the nicest person ever, to my HS World HIstory teacher who had such “charisma”, to my HS physics/calculus teacher (taught both of these!) who inspired us to continue the study in college, to all of my clinical instructors and college professors who encouraged me to never give up, to motivate those who need my help and to be empathetic to what they are going through. Teachers are amazing–yet so sad that they are so grossly underpaid, work such long hours (and don’t tell me about summer off–ha!) and are so under appreciated.

  27. I, too, was greatly inspired and changed by my college math professor. She was the only one who “knew” HOW to teach even the most complicated math in a way that anyone could understand and not feel intimidated. That was many years ago, but to this day I can just look at numbers and see general answers that are extremely close if not the actual answer. It’s so fast and easy. It really helped me to memorize nursing math in hospital work to prevent medical errors as we had to have two check and double check/sign math calculations and doses prior to administering to patients. No shortcuts, no med administration errors. Am I perfect? Very far from it. I make mistakes every day. But because of Jan, our math professor, I LOVE LOVE LOVE math. She changed my life.

  28. There was one teacher that truly inspired me. My calligraphy teacher, also was art, ceramics, jewelry teacher in high school. His name was mr.boyd. I had him all through high school. That was when there was a budget for educational classes. The things he taught all the talents he shared were such a blessing to me. Thank you mr.boyd.

  29. My second grade teacher, Miss B., made learning so much fun! She inspired me to become a teacher, too. I spent 35 happy years of teaching second grade. Many of my own students went on to become teachers, too. It always feels like a complete ‘circle of love’ to me! This spring, two of my former second grade students have invited me to their weddings. Can you imagine the joy? It has been so amazing to be a part of the lives of so many wonderful students! They are a blessing in my life… and I enjoy staying in touch as the years pass by. I’m so grateful for the wonderful inspiration of my second grade teacher, Miss B. ♡

  30. Miss Lemon was my 4th grade teacher. She made learning the “3 Rs” fun. We had wonderful art projects, and she used colored chalk. She lived close to the school, and would let us visit her on Saturday. A very loving and inspirational woman.

  31. I think the teacher that inspired me the most was my HS biology teacher, Ms. Sheridan. HS was extremely traumatic for me for multiple reasons. Ms. Sheridan was the first person to tell me everything was going to be OK and that I was OK. She inspired me because I believed her. A lot of years later, I still think about Ms. Sheridan and where I would be today if she were not in my life then.

  32. OK…just have to say you, Jennifer, are pretty inspiring to me! But…I owe my career as an emergency physician to my college biology teacher. I was a nurse and went back to school to get a four year RN degree. One day my biology professor asked me if I had ever thought of going to medical school…as a single mom…it had never crossed my mind. He then made a very long list of all the classes I needed and over the next five years encouraged and mentored me. I graduated medical school and an EM residency program…I am eternally grateful for his confidence and belief in abilities I didn’t know I had.

  33. My most inspirational teacher was Miss Danko. My English teacher in 1973. High school. I hated reading and any part of it but let me tell you about this little tiny quiet but wonderful women. She turned every student she had in her class into men and women who couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. Just her way of reteaching. Take the time to show us that there are exciting happenings on.paper. as a matter of fact we voted her as the most inspirational teacher for our 25th reunion and we’re going to invite her to speak but her family told us she had passed away. Now you have to understand the times. I went to high school in Gary Indiana. The year I had her was a tough year for all of us. It was the year the government was forcing desecration. The students were fighting back. But as time went on it was all good and life showed us better ways and that the change would help us all to grow into adults that could learn to handle more than we thought. Miss Danko was there for all of us. A tiny but mighty teacher. God love her

  34. I remember my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Taylor. She was almost blind and I would help her with her magnifying glass and walking around the playground at recess. No one got away with anything even though she could not see much. She was firm but fun!

  35. My economics professor in college was one of many who inspired me, but his care and time have always stuck with me. I’d never had economics in high school, transferred to a new college because I was getting married, signed up for 2 required economics classes, and absolutely could not understand another professor. He sat with me for a couple of hours the day before I had the other professor’s test and tutored me. In that time, I not only learned economics but also made a friend. He had served in the Peace Corps and other volunteer organizations. He was not only a great human being but also a great human doing.

  36. My most inspirational teacher was mr spillman who taught English & language arts. I grew up in a very small farming community & no one had ever before taught like he did. He read Shakespeare to us & made reading a wonderful thing. I credit him with my love of reading!

  37. The most inspiring teacher I’ve ever had was Professor Helena Fracchia, at the University of Alberta History and Classics Dept. Back when I was an under-grad, it was just the Classics Dept and it was very cool in a rather nerdish way. Helena taught senior and graduate level classes and seminars focusing on art and architecture of ancient Rome. I thought I liked ancient Greek art and architecture way better than the Roman stuff, but Helena opened my eyes to the beauty and majesty of the latter. My only regret was that I couldn’t participate in her summer school courses in Italy: I was a mature student with a part-time job at the university and one had to be a full-time grad student to be part of the summer school and the archeological digs.

  38. In Junior High, I was on the gymnastic team and had Coach Scroggins. He had never been a gymnastic coach before, so we got to teach him the ins and outs of it. He was fun to work with and learned as much from us as we learned from him. When it came time for me to graduate, he came by my house to present me with a gold charm for helping him with the sport and wishing me good luck after school!
    Carla from Utah

  39. Hi

    Like Jennifer I was a math and computer person. My favorite teacher is one I had at College before going to university. This teacher proposed me to send my admission for the Canadian Scolarship as he tough I was brave and would probably get admitted for it….. So I sent my application, few months later I received a nice amount to pay for the university. This same teacher told me to apply to the Canadian Space Agency as he knew about possibility for internship and I got the opportunity to worked there finally and had a nice work experience because of him.

  40. The teacher that inspired me most was my high school art teacher. We has structured instructional time but there was also a spirit of freedom in his classroom. Some kids worked on painting, other drawing, other sculpture and still others were all about jewelry making. He taught us to be ourselves – he had a full beard and longish hair in the 80s and was considered a bit of a hippy freak by non-art students back in the 80s. He taught us to value differences, work together, and be kind to ourselves and others. I love that man.

  41. My 7th grade English teacher, Miss Nagle. She was so different from the others. She is the reason I am obsessed with reading and writing. She had us rewrite Shakespeare, write our own plays and act them out, she encouraged creativity and thinking outside the box long before it was a catchphrase. I can still hear her voice in my head when I am in a creative slump!

  42. Mrs. Elliot, my 2nd grade teacher. Our class ran an internal, school-wide post office. We processed all the mail and we had a booth in our class room where everyone in the school could buy stamps when our post office was open. There was a mail box outside of our classroom where everyone deposited their letters. Everyone in the school could earn paper coins to pay for postage. It was a complex system and so much fun!

    She was kind and very creative woman. We learned how to count money and we didn’t even know we were learning.

  43. Hi Jennifer. I had a few good role models over the years but the first one I always think of (AND am Thankful for!) is Mrs. Quartermaine my grade three reading teacher. You see, I was a painfully shy child so I hated to be picked to read aloud. I was SO self conscious that I always stumbled when I read in front of the class…. That earned me “special” time with the reading teacher. She was so patient and helpful that I went on to win a good number of spelling bees (which required speaking in front of people!) PLUS, I became an avid reader and inspired my own children to love and respect books!

  44. I am a teacher and feel happy that there are dedicated teachers everywhere. My inspirational teacher was in college and told me ” You should major in Economics since you think like an economist” and so what did I do? Major in history and economics!. 36 years of teaching and loving it!

  45. My husband was and still is, my most inspiring person. From the very start of our marriage, he has encouraged me to continue my education, seek employment that I can enjoy, helped me with guiding our kids in a the right directions (as we see it) and has been tolerant of my scrapping addiction. I owe a lot of what I am today to him.

  46. This is tricky because you don’t go to school to learn how to homeschool your kids. However, I was inspired by many people/families that I met before becoming a mom and realized this was definitely the way I wanted to raise the children God would give me.

    But, there is another passion in my life. When I was 16, I got this crazy notion in my head that I wanted to sing for a school presentation. Terrified, I practiced and practiced til the big day arrived. In front of students and parents, I sang a solo. After that first solo, a teacher named Mr. Karpenko came up to me. He was the choir director for the school. He told me that he was completely shocked that I had not tried out for choir. He told me he loved my voice. Even though the year was almost over, he told me he expected to see me in the fall and that I was to try out–not just for choir–but also for the touring school singing group. He changed my life. The joy of singing for Jesus has never stopped! In fact, this weekend, I’ll be lending my voice in a concert on a new TV channel that is being launched in southern Oregon that’s holding a concert and hoping many will learn about Jesus. So yeah, Mr. Karpenko changed my life. I thank him so much for giving me the added confidence (and training) to sing… 🙂

  47. I think I was most inspired by my Sunday School teacher when I was a “Junior” in church. This person also happened to be my Mother. She taught me to be the person I am now and how to be a good Christian.

  48. I’ve been inspired not by a teacher years ago who taught me, but a kindergarten teacher for whom I’ve been volunteering the past five years. She has taught two of my three grandchildren and I plan to continue working with her until the last of my grandchildren have benefited from her wonderful example and dedication. I’ve marveled at her ability to control 20 or more 5-year olds without ever raising her voice, to zero in on children going through a hard time or struggling to learn. She encourages the delight of discovery and personal creativity, stimulates children to think and reason, while teaching mutual respect for and sensitivity toward one another. She’s a great asset to our little local elementary school!

  49. My most inspiring teacher was ‘our’ American History teacher and school Counselor. My senior year, Larry and I were planning our wedding, yeah I know, that’s YOUNG, but back in 1959, in a small town, we were in love. Having divorced parents/both remarried and families, my stepmother decided she would not attend my wedding if my Mother was going to be there. Larry said, ‘we’ll just elope!’ and while seeing that as an answer, I wanted both my parents and families there. So I went to Mrs Wilson, who had taught both Larry and myself. After telling her my problem, her advice was to go ahead with my wedding plans as we wanted them, and the parent would ‘give in’. We took her advice and all went smoothly and it was never brought up again. She also complimented me on the ‘change’ in Larry since we had been dating. I threatened not to marry him if he didn’t finish his Senior year, for 1 hour per day for the year to graduate with me! He was one of the ‘bad boys’ in school. We were married for almost 44 years with two wonderful sons and a wonderful life before Larry passed.

  50. Though I have been privileged with many inspiring teachers I think that it started with 2 in elementary school who pushed me to be better, and later a very special guy that taught Analytical Chemistry and suggested that I question things and again to push to learn things myself. I aced his class and learned so much. I agree with pushing myself and learning every day. That’s why I am an avid Jennifer McGuire to learn more in this field. What would we do without Youtube !? Lol!!

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