- This is in answer to:
- Recall one of the best teachers you've had. See all answers
- May 24, 2012 by PKHawk_again
- A Favorite Teacher
Since I have already addressed this topic on Plinky, I will tell a bit more about another really good teacher I had while in 5th and 6th grades.
Mrs. Blackstock was the teacher I wrote about the last time we were asked to comment on this topic. She was my first grade teacher, and she still holds a special place in my memory and in my heart.
Mr. Raymond K. Funk was also a very special teacher. This was in Los Alamitos, CA, during school years 1956-1957 in 5th grade, and 1957-1958 in 6th grade.
Mr. Funk was a retired Navy man, and was well prepared to keep the class clowns under restraint, and even help him learn, as well. Mr. Funk was absolutely a great teacher, who helped children with slower learning processes actually learn in school, instead of just giving them the answers to get them through his class and the grade.
Mr. Funk utilized the skills and abilities of we who the better students, to help guide them, and actually help them during recess, when the other students who might tease them, were playing outside, thus removing a good bit of stress, and removing the embarrassment they would otherwise have to deal with.
Now that I look back, I think many of these kids were dyslexic, but these were the times when no one ever heard of such a thing. Even sounding out the letters for them, made little difference in their ability to spell even simple words, but they were not so limited in speech. These students really did appreciate the time that Mr. Funk took to try to help, and they also really appreciated that I never belittled them when they just could not grasp what I was trying to help them with, when Mr. Funk asked me to test them for spelling, etc.
I really liked this man as a teacher, and as a father to his children. For 6th grade graduation, our class had a beach party, and a good time was had by all. Since I usually avoided many of the more rowdy students, he asked me to keep an eye on his children, while he refereed games the wild ones were playing. I didn't mind, as I just had very little in common with many students and their lifestyles.
I have already mentioned in another posting on Plinky how years later, I ran into Mr. Funk in Westminster, CA. My mother had asked me to run to a local fruit and vegetable marked, which was only about a mile and a half from home, for a few things she needed for dinner. When I got in my car to return home, something caught my eye across the parking lot. There was this man, of average hight, wearing one of his dark suits, which was just a little loose, standing, holding a transistor radio to his ear. He was looking away from me, but I recognized him immediately, as Mr. Raymond K. Funk. It was the way he stood, with his head slightly tilted, and holding the radio to his ear. I knew he was listening to the baseball game. I approached him, tapped him on the shoulder, and said. "Mr. Funk?" He turned around and just smiled that smile Mr. Funk had, and said,"yes?" He seemed as happy to see me again, as I was to see him. It was a short conversation, as I certainly did not want to intrude, and I knew he was intently listening to that game, as he always did, when I knew him from 5th and 6th grade.
I am sure he has long since passed, for he would be in his 90's at least if he is still living. Mr. Funk will always hold another special place in my heart. He cared about his students, and made sure I was always OK with my health concerns, as well. He was a kind man, and yet, he knew how to keep unruly kids under his thumb, too. Maybe it was all those years in the Navy, but I tend to think he also had a natural ability to understand children.