The Teachers Who Framed Me

Britt Jungck reflects on the educators who have carved a path for her.

Britt Jungck, Teacher Writer

My influences as an educator remind me of the 1995 movie How To Make An American Quilt, personal details, stitched together to create something unique that lives on to work with new students, in new towns, creating new dreams.

When I plan my lessons and grade my papers, I channel my high school AP English teacher, Linda Kaufman.  Her precision and rigor still echo in my head 20+ years later and I appreciate her dedication the longer I am in this profession. She never hid her brilliance or her opinions, which takes bravery for a female educator, even today.

When I talk with my kids, lecture them about ethos or pathos, describe a book in detail and dramatically illustrate my passion, I think of Damon Adair.  He taught English (and history) at Perry for many years.  His use of humor and energy, along with a deep knowledge of his subject entranced many students.

When I write with my kids, bonding with them over humor and sorrow, I think of my time with Jenny Paulsen.  We shared a tender few months as teacher and student teacher, each walking into the other’s life at the right moment.  I still remember how warm her creative writing class would feel in the antiquated Mac lab, as students would come over and read her sample essays in awe.

Lastly, when I write my students’ notes and send them cards…leaving hints of my tender side for them to hold onto, I think about my friend and mentor Vicki Cose.  She is quite simply the most loving and devoted teacher and mentor I have ever known. She knows her content inside and out, but can motivate anyone, even an often fiercely stubborn, type-A egomaniac named Britt.