Target Giveaway and Labor Day Ideas

September 4, 2011

If you live in the U.S., you are smack dab in the middle of Labor Day weekend.  If you are not on a camping (or some other kind of) trip, you are most likely either hosting a gathering, or are attending a gathering.  We are hosting two gatherings for which I will be making one ton of food.  I will share some of the recipes later in the week but that won’t help you with ideas for what to make, will it?  Labor Day will have passed.  So, I’m going to remind you of some of my very favorite salads if you need salad inspiration for your Labor Day festivities.  But first, a giveaway.

One of the most challenging things about writing is editing.  Doing your own, or someone doing it for you.  I took a history class in high school where each week we would have a pithy contest.  You had to bring in a current event and talk about it clearly in the fewest words possible.  I think about that contest often when I am writing.  I know I am not the pithiest writer but I could be worse.

I started a post that was, honestly, all over the place.  Cookies, bad cookie cookbooks, back to school, and Target.  It was far from pithy.  So let me just dial it down for you.  Target contacted me recently asking if I wanted a $50 gift card to check out their new food offerings.  Did you know that many Target stores carry more than just potato chips?  Like a full-on fresh food section with beautiful produce to boot?  I didn’t either.  We did our back to school shopping at Target and I was thrilled to be able to get the things I couldn’t find at the farmer’s market in the same place as the pencils and erasers.  One stop shopping taken to a whole new level.

Now.  When I am offered something like this, I always ask if I can have two.  One for me, one to give away.  The Target people didn’t bat an eyelash.  So, who wants a $50 Target gift card?  In the comments, tell me the name of your favorite grade school teacher and (optional!) why he/she was your favorite.  You have until Friday, September 9th at 9am PDT to enter.  And now, salad!  (UPDATE: Contest is now closed!)

Zucchini and Olive Salad could not be easier and it elicits oooh’s and aaahh’s when you bring it to the table.

Everyone loves Greek Salad and in this post, I offer some tips on making a great one.

That old saying, “What grows together, goes together” is exactly what you find here.  Peaches, heirlooms, green beans.  Perfection.

If you are thinking of making a potato salad, why not try something a little different?  Potato Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette.  Be sure sure to use the purples.

I’ve made this salad, Lentils with Capers, Walnuts, Walnut Oil and Mint, more than just about anything in my life.  I love it.  I’m making it this weekend.

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes.  Think of it either as a salad or a side dish.  Either way, delicious.


  1. My favorite was my 2nd grade teacher Mrs Theise. She was so much fun! What stands out most in my mind were the theme days we’d have where she would dress up crazy to go with the theme (rainbow day, various holidays, Hawaiian day, etc). I also remember going to her house on the last day of school for a picnic, including “sledding” down her steep hill on cardboard. Super fun!

    Comment by Andrea — September 4, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  2. Ms. Worner, my kindergarten teacher. I remember being able to snuggle up in the reading corner and read a book. I thought this was the most wonderful thing, that I got to read whatever book I wanted…at school! I try to give my students time to read books of their choice in my classroom.

    Comment by Annie — September 4, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  3. Miss Wierzba, my third grade teacher. She was young and had this unwavering positive personality, always kind and understanding. I remember always thinking her smile was the prettiest I’d ever seen. I was shy and extremely into school, so she’d often choose me as her helper — which of course sent me over the moon.


    Comment by heather — September 4, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  4. My favorite elementary school teacher was Miss Krinn in 4th grade. She was at least 30 years younger than my third grade teacher. Miss Krinn wore mini skirts, knee high socks and flat shoes, which must have been the fashion at the time.

    Every week Miss Krinn would take us to the school library and we’d all check out at least one book. Each week we either had to turn in a written book report or give an oral book report in front of the class. I still love going to the library and checking our books, including cookbooks. We also have several bookcases full of books, including three shelves of cookbooks!

    Comment by Yafa — September 4, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  5. Definitely Miss Anderson from 3rd grade. She was from Mississippi and a very heavy accent. She was just sweet and could be and made learning multiplication a blast. She also wore a special shirt on Halloween that said “Boo Y’all”! :)

    Comment by Karen @ Goofy Can Cook — September 4, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  6. My 5th grade teacher Mrs. Frankie Greenham. My mother was very ill with kidney stones and I was up with her all night until my grandmother got there and took her to the hospital. Grandma drove me to school and let the teacher know what was going on. I fell asleep in class and she just let me sleep. She made school interesting and fun and I learned so much from her.

    In my late 40′s I joined a rubber stamp club at a rubberstamp store. After about 4 months there I realized that the Frankie that was also there was my 5th grade teacher. I didn’t say anything yet since we were going to do Secret Sisters I asked if Frankie could be mine. I had so much fun buying things for this teacher that inspired me as a child. When it came time to let our Secret Sister know who we were I photo copied both of our photos from the class photo and made a copy of my report card (which had a bad grade) and asked her if she could fix it. She was shocked and couldn’t believe that I remembered her.

    Comment by Pam — September 4, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  7. My favorite teacher was Miss Lynch in 5th grade. At the end of the year, she had a slumber party, and had all the girls in the class over to her house to watch Gone With The Wind. I don’t think you’d be allowed to do that now! (This was in 1990).

    Comment by Janet — September 4, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  8. Mrs. Wilbur

    Comment by amy marantino — September 4, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  9. My favorite was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Cunningham, who was always cheerful and made me feel good about myself.

    Comment by Mami2jcn — September 4, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  10. My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Degnan was my favorite. His energy was boundless, and he made learning fun – even math!

    Comment by Tracy — September 4, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  11. Hands down my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Hughes, was my favorite! She taught me about music and art and encouraged me to write what comes from the heart. At the end of the year our class had a huge bbq at her house. I have no idea how that came to be, because these days I highly doubt many teachers can invite a class of children over to their house! But she was an amazing woman.

    Comment by Jacqui — September 4, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  12. My favorite teacher was my 9th grade English teacher, Ms. Peck. She had a great sense of humor and made learning fun (she also must be a saint for teaching Junior High School).

    Comment by Belladatura — September 4, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

  13. Mrs. Chamberlain, second grade — I remember some of the fun things we did in her class like it was yesterday [singing/acting out songs, drawing, sign language].

    Comment by Panya — September 4, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  14. haha i think we all know pithy has never been my forte either. But I love you all the more for it!

    My favorite grade school teacher was Mrs. Brown in second grade. She was the kindest teacher I’ve ever had, really cared about her students. She had 9 cats and two dogs and let us do a whole unit on the rain forest. I just feel like I learned so much from being in her class, both scholastically and as a person.

    Comment by Joanne — September 4, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  15. My favorite was my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Hennessey. Not only was she an expert at making each of us feel special, she was also amazing at helping us see that there was an opportunity to learn in almost everything.
    Case in point: Bruce Springsteen. Think Born in the USA. She was mad about him (like most of the rest of the country at the time). He was recently married to a woman from a nearby Oregon town. She taught us about local government procedures and public records by using a copy of the wedding certificate

    Comment by Megan — September 4, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

  16. Rabbi Mandel- first grade.
    He was an old man with a long white beard and he would jump over a chair whenever the class had 100% attendance!

    Comment by Sara — September 4, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  17. no real favorites….

    Comment by jacquie — September 4, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  18. Although I had many great teachers in elementary school, without a doubt, my favorite was Darlene Houston. She taught me to read when I was in Kidnergarten, and I was heartbroken to not have her as my first grade teacher. I am now nearly 35 years old and she is still a very close family friend that I rely on to this day!

    Comment by Ashley — September 4, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  19. My favorite elementary school teacher was Mrs. Negri. She was patient and must have been one of the few that I didn’t get in trouble with for talking all of the time. Now, my favorite teacher is my son’s 1st grade teacher, Ms. Nelson. He loved her in first grade, but then she went out of the way to help me, when he was in second grade.

    Comment by kim — September 4, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  20. my favorite teacher was Mr. Ponder in 4th grade – He really made each one of his students feel unique and important – a lesson that has stayed with me for 20 years.

    Comment by ally — September 4, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  21. Oh, I have three favorites- Ms. Gustavson, Mrs. Burnside, and Ms. Bassack. All three took genuine interest in me and made me happy to come to school. I looked forward to seeing them everyday. They’ve certainly inspired me to become an elementary school librarian.

    Comment by Mary — September 4, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  22. Mrs Goodman in 3rd grade. Her patience, good sense of humor and a special knack for teaching to our level stand out for me.

    Comment by Kathleen — September 4, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  23. My favorite was my 5th grade teacher, Miss Stuber…although I spent a lot of time outside the classroom, in a corner for misbehaving, my favorite memory from her classroom was the homemade maple candies she brought us!

    Comment by Dorothea — September 4, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  24. Mrs. Jordan, 11th grade English. But really, I loved all my English teachers dearly. I was blessed with many good ones.

    Comment by Rachel — September 4, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

  25. My 4th grade teacher, Mr. Johnson. I didn’t have many friends in that class, but I had my favorite teacher. Or my Art History professor from college, Linda Williams. She changed my life (and my major!).

    Comment by Alyssa — September 4, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  26. I had the good fortune of having many wonderful teachers but after having a horrible year in the 3rd grade, in 4th grade my teacher was the wonderful Miss (Sally) Hall. She made us feel important and special and encouraged us all. Shed went out of her way to educate the whole class in the things that set us apart from other kids to stop any kid nasties. We had wonderful field trips and spontaneous adventures (picking lily-of-the-valley in the woods).

    Comment by Charlotte — September 4, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  27. Mrs. McGonigal, my third grade teacher, because she was kind, patient, and caring. But she was also a very good teacher and she made us want to learn. That’s a very rare skill in a teacher!

    Comment by Rona Y — September 4, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  28. Mr. Kolber, my 5th grade teacher. He introduced me to Monty Python!

    Comment by karen — September 4, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

  29. I actually had a lot of really great grade school teachers who challenged me and helped me appreciate knowledge. My favorite, though, was probably Mr. Layer – 6th grade Social Studies. Not only was he a wonderful teacher, but a really remarkable human being. (It probably didn’t hurt that I had a small crush on him, either…)

    Comment by Jessica — September 4, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  30. Mr. Tyler.
    He pushed me to do my best and cemented my love of music.

    Comment by Lisa — September 4, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  31. Toss up between Miss Blanchard, 2nd grade, Mr. Barcott, 4th grade, both at Mercer Crest, and Mr. Park, 6th grade at Island Park. Miss Blanchard had long beautiful brown hair that she let us girls brush on a regular basis. I bet that’s not cool nowadays in public school. Mr. Barcott was so tolerant of me – I used to tape my 8 cents for milk (yes, a 1/2 pint of milk cost 8 cents in 1980) in a line, one nickel and three pennies, every single day all year long. I also called him Mr. Barfcott. I’m really not such a pain in the a– but clearly I was that year. Mr. Park had a handle-bar mustache and was kind of a cowboy, such an anomaly on Mercer Island that I was smitten. Plus his birthday was the same day Mt. St. Helens erupted, May 18th. TMI? Well, anyway thanks for sending my thoughts back 30 years, Dana.

    Comment by Denison — September 4, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  32. My favorite grade school teacher was Ms. Williams in 3rd grade. She encouraged students to speak up and really participate, even though I was shy I really felt comfortable in her class. She placed a lot of importance on reading, which, as a bookworm I loved! :)

    Comment by Elisabeth — September 4, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  33. Mr. Bridges, my high school PE teacher. He cared about us as people first and students second.

    Comment by Rachel — September 4, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

  34. They just renovated my Target & it is nice to pick up a few things and not have to make two stops! As my a fav teacher, it would be Mrs. Sullivan from 2nd grade. Mostly because there was a class bunny which we all were able to take care of for a weekend! On another note, I am bookmarking your pilaf from the other day. It is my husband’s favorite & I am sure he will give it rave reviews like Randy!

    Comment by fresh365 — September 4, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  35. My favorite teacher was “Aunt Margot” – keep in mind back home in Brazil, we used to call the teachers “Aunt Such and Such”, not Ms or Msr. Not sure they still do it, but… those were the old days ;-)

    why she was my favorite? She was very serene, very sweet, and always had a smile on her face. She used to devote 30 minutes of her class to meditation, something I wasn’t sure what to make of then, but now, decades later, realize that was part of her being a very special person.

    Comment by SallyBR — September 4, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  36. This is the easiest question ever!
    My first grade teacher in 1983/84, Darlene Houston, is still one of my best friends in the whole world! I consider her and her family to be my family as well, and my sisters and I often call her our “fairy godmother.”
    In fact, in 2005 – 21 years after I graduated from her 1st grade class, she officiated my wedding ceremony.
    She’s one of the most wonderful human beings on the planet and I’m so happy and lucky to have her in my life.
    Thank you,

    Comment by Courtney Hans — September 4, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  37. Oh, my… her name was Ms. Colette. I grew up in South America and she was my 5th grade teacher at an American school there.

    She was so marvelous, and I wish I could remember her last name so I could find her and thank her profusely for the extreme kindness she showed me. My parents decided to separate that year and it was a horrid event as my father left my mother for the kindergarten teacher (also my brother’s teacher) at my school. The principal took the kindergarten teachers side (my mom was president of the school board) which made life for my brother and I miserable. Ms. Colette saw how much I was hurting and made arrangements to take me out and do things with me, things I found interesting. She spent a lot of time with me that year, and helped me to see that things were not my fault and that adults often do stupid things that hurt kids. I find that I try to pay her generosity forward, but that it is a way of life rather than something I can ever make up… but gladly pay forward every chance I get.

    Comment by Blair — September 4, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  38. Mrs. Hawkins, who I had for math in 4th grade. (Yes, we switched classes in 4th grade…I think it was an experiment or something?!) Anyway, she was nice and really made me enjoy math!

    Comment by sara — September 4, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  39. Mr Mattern, my senior year English teacher. He was hilarious and a great teacher.

    Comment by Jenna — September 4, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  40. the one teacher i remember most is mr. beattie.
    if any of my SBS class alumnae are bloggers they’ll surely have a smile on their face when they see my comment.
    mr b was one of those teachers that made the class sit in a circle, not in chairs, there was no writing, no tests, no embarassing chalkboard moments. rather he would make us all talk, just talk about “our” opinions on whatever book and/or short story we were reading for the week. he would give us individual questions; each one different for each person and ask us to just talk about it with the class. and then let us take questions from other people.
    it was so much fun and such a great way to get comfy speaking in public, but the most important part? this MADE me want to read more and made me want to questions things in life more. pretty rad teacher eh?

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — September 5, 2011 @ 12:08 am

  41. My favorite grade school teacher was our enrichment teacher, Ms. Spain. Ms. Spain always had something fun for us to do (I still remember some of the riddles she gave us, which seemed tougher than anything to little eight-year-old me), and she always encouraged us to do our own projects with only the minimum of teacher interference. Under her keen eye, our little class wrote and acted in many of our own plays, undertook huge art projects, and got our first taste of individual research into topics we loved. What I most appreciated from her, though, was helping me start taking more advanced math courses, which is one of the big turning points in my current pursuit of the sciences.

    (And darn, do those recipes look good! Keep them coming, please, Dana!)

    Comment by Pasket — September 5, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  42. Mrs. Izumi, my 4th grade teacher, by a mile. She helped me come out my “shy” self and gain self confidence. My mother wouldOLY send me to school in a dress or skirt. It was Mrs. Izumi that was able to talk my mother into letting me wear pants… imagine that!! :)

    Comment by Vanessa — September 5, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  43. Mrs. Thompson, my third grade teacher. She was actually retired but was in as a long term substitute.

    She was the first person to recognize that I was very, very nearsighted, because I copied problems down from the board wrong, but got the answers to what I wrote down correct.

    The teachers in my school got donuts with their coffee every morning. If it was a jelly donut, she carefully cut it into 25 pieces and gave a small piece to each of us.

    She was an extraordinary teacher and human being.

    Comment by Robin Glossner — September 5, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  44. Mrs. Davis – 4th grade!

    Comment by M — September 5, 2011 @ 1:03 am

  45. Sister William Mary, my fourth grade teacher. What I remember most about her was that she played baseball with the boys (in full nun’s habit, rosary beads clicking, veil flying in the wind). Not only did she play baseball with the boys, but she set a precendent that we girls could play with boys too.

    Comment by Donna — September 5, 2011 @ 1:35 am

  46. Mrs. Croker was my eighth grade teacher. I always viewed her as a sophisticated lady who challenged us as students and always encouraged us to think about the world beyond our small town. I was well-prepared for high school. I was ready to take sophomore math as a freshman in high school, and English grammar was a breeze. In fact, all of my classmates who had Mrs. Croker had very little trouble in English classes in high school.

    I am a teacher myself, and I hope that I am able to touch lives just as Mrs. Croker touched mine.

    Comment by Sophia — September 5, 2011 @ 1:51 am

  47. I love the Target brand fruit snacks and Archer Farms chile and cheese tamales. The Archer Farms yogurt also comes in a variety of cool flavors, especially in the holiday season. Plus, you get an automatic 5% off if you use the Target card. As for my favorite grade school teacher, the ones from my younger days all kind of blur together, but I totally remember my high school math teacher Mrs. Wegerer who had/still has such a zeal for math and for life.

    Comment by delia — September 5, 2011 @ 1:51 am

  48. My science teacher — she loved what she did and her enthusiasm rubbed off on us. She also loved kids – she would take her breaks and still want to hang out with us! Plus she was a wonderful role model and beautiful person. (Sorry – that was not very pithy either!)

    Comment by Kelly — September 5, 2011 @ 1:51 am

  49. 1971-72; 6th grade; Mrs. Woodfin is the teacher. A truly inspiring and confidence building year. And she taught us transcendental meditation! Wish I could have kept her in my life forever!!

    Comment by Darlene — September 5, 2011 @ 2:08 am

  50. My 1st grade teacher Mrs.Limestahl. Loved her.

    Comment by Deb — September 5, 2011 @ 2:22 am

  51. A toss up. 2nd grade teacher Miss Vollmer, who let us rock out to the Monkees during rainy-day recess and wore minis (tasteful) and big blonde beehive. 4th grade Mrs. Moss. Intelligent, kind, and caring.

    Comment by lauren — September 5, 2011 @ 2:47 am

  52. Ok Dana, I love this one because I love telling anyone who will listen about this one amazing teacher I had. 2nd grade – so that would be 1977. Miss Shannon. What I loved about her… well, it wasn’t that she was a great teacher or that she inspired me or that she taught me to be a better person. What I loved about her was that she was a knockout. She looked just exactly like Malibu Barbie. She was probably about 22 years old and she wore her hair in a beehive and she wore mini skirts and high heels. This was just about as far as you could get from my hippy mom and aunts and I fell madly in love with her. She actually got married the year I had her and she went on a honeymoon to (gasp!) Hawaii!! When she came back, she let us girls stay in at recess and she taught us how to Hula dance. I will never forget her. Miss Shannon. Sigh…

    Comment by Sophie Hill — September 5, 2011 @ 3:08 am

  53. It’d be a tie … Ms. Rucereto had the coolest classroom (with a huge paper-mache whale in which one could go and read at will) and encouraged my love of literature, but Mrs. Guttman let me make dittos for the class at lunch time … and while the dittos were running, I wrote stories. Thank you for reminding me of these awesome women!

    Comment by Justine — September 5, 2011 @ 3:47 am

  54. Mrs. Hyde, my third grade teacher.

    By the way, those salads look fantastic!

    Comment by sally — September 5, 2011 @ 4:00 am

  55. Dr. Art Echerd, 10th grade European History. A totally unassuming, self-deprecating man who was a walking encyclopedia. He left a UNC teaching job to come to our high school b/c he loved knowing his students. He was a great supporter of students in and out of the classroom. A real gem! I still keep up with him.

    Comment by Brooke — September 5, 2011 @ 4:02 am

  56. mrs cole, kindergarten. probably b/c she was my first teacher and i was in love with finally being able to go to school.

    Comment by helen — September 5, 2011 @ 4:13 am

  57. Mr. Meister, my English teacher for two years. He made class fun, while still teaching us lots!

    Comment by ronni — September 5, 2011 @ 4:17 am

  58. My favorite teacher was Mr. Yates, my 4th grade teacher. He was strict but fair. He encouraged my love of reading. When I read all of the books in the classroom, he brought me the Illiad & the Odessey to read. It fostered a love of mythology that is with me to this day.

    Comment by Mary Ann D. — September 5, 2011 @ 4:18 am

  59. Mrs. Foley, my second grade teacher. I remember her being a lot of fun.

    Comment by Jane — September 5, 2011 @ 4:21 am

  60. Ms. Pittis because she made me love writing!

    Comment by Jessie — September 5, 2011 @ 4:34 am

  61. My sixth grade reading teacher, Mrs Kunimura, was my favorite. We were a wild bunch of students, and she knew how to control the classroom, be fair, AND teach grammar.

    Comment by Marcie — September 5, 2011 @ 5:50 am

  62. I have two: Mrs. Hinman in 7th and 8th grade English, first: she was very kind, though occasionally severe, and made literary theory (at a middle-school level, of course) mysterious and cool. She taught the Hero’s Journey a la Joseph Campbell using Star Wars, King Arthur, and Into the Woods – how cool is that?

    Second, Mrs. Parker, in 11th grade English. She was more severe than kind, but she was also brilliant, hilarious, and expected nothing but brilliance from her students – and because we wanted to please her, we were brilliant. That was the best class I’ve ever taken. As a bonus, she looked very much like the sea witch from The Little Mermaid – short white hair, tall, buxom, and always wore flowing black dresses.

    Comment by Kathleen B — September 5, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  63. Ms. Galley – 6th Grade. I just remember thinking she was the coolest!!

    Comment by Abby — September 5, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  64. My favorite teacher was my 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Shaw. He was so funny and made learning science such a fun thing.

    Comment by Kelly — September 5, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  65. My Favorite was my 4th grade teacher, miss Fussco. She made teaching fun and inspiring. One example: We learned our times tables through the beat of music. Everyone was assigned a number, and got to pick the song. She took the words out of the song, and we all sang them to the beat during class to learn. Till this day, I can remember every song picked for each number, and still continue to use that method when working with numbers! Awesome!

    Comment by Jessen — September 5, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  66. My favorite teacher in grade school teacher was the Spanish teacher, Ms. Rodriguez. She always brought the subject matter to life and really made me want to learn Spanish.

    Comment by Tiah — September 5, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  67. My favorite was my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Carr, because she was very kind & understanding.

    Comment by Deanna G. — September 5, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  68. Miss Rafferty, my third grade teacher, was my all-time favorite, because she introduced us to the amazing tradition of reading aloud. I can’t remember any other teacher doing this! Each day after lunch recess, she would dim the lights and sit in her reading chair with the class on a rug around her feet, and read to us for probably 15 to 20 minutes. We got through both James & the Giant Peach, and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory that year, and every Friday we were given art time, to draw a picture based on a scene in the book, and wrote a sentence about it. I still have those collections of drawings somewhere!

    Comment by Jani — September 5, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  69. My fav grade school teacher was Ms. Robins at St. Finbar in Burbank. She was short so that made her more approachable (LOL) plus, she was so nice and funny and did projects with us we actually enjoyed and found interesting. She made learning fun, and that is awesome.

    Comment by Adriane — September 5, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  70. mrs. casterline.. because she was always positive and got us outside often!!

    Comment by Steph — September 5, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  71. my favorite teacher was Mrs. Mancini. she was a hard ass that a lot of kids didn’t like because she was intimidating, but she loved me. i’ve never been so grateful for special treatment!

    Comment by Ellen — September 5, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  72. Ms. Cheney (4th grade). I don’t really remember why. I just know we all loved her. My 6th grade teacher was also wonderful.

    Comment by tanya — September 5, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  73. Mrs. Teigen — 3rd grade… A teacher who understood that teaching is as much about the students as the subjects being taught… Loved her!

    Comment by Pam — September 5, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

  74. Mr. Harm … a rather ironic name for a favorite teacher!

    Comment by Elizabeth — September 5, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  75. My favorite grade school teacher was Mrs. Carlson. She taught me how to read, and was just so wonderful and friendly.

    Comment by rfoodie — September 6, 2011 @ 12:36 am

  76. Mrs. Thelma Bristor. I had her in fifth grade and then, again, in sixth grade. She opened up the world to me, encouraged me to write, and was the most positive teaching influence in school filled with positive, wonderful teachers.

    Fifth grade was a split classroom; fifth and six graders. I loved it. That year, she took us on a field trip to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, to Jane Adams’ Hull House, and to Chinatown. She had us arrange our desks in the shape of the United Nations Security Council. This was in the early ’60s when straight rows of desks were the norm and field trips were to more traditional places.

    In sixth grade (oh, I was a lucky gal), we printed a magazine about the parts of speech. I still refer to it. Ha! I was the editor of the Sixth Grade Blast, which was “published” in our classroom. We dissected frogs and each made passports, having our pictures taken in those little photo booths. We would independently visit each country in Europe, at our own speed, and take a test at the end of our trip. Our passport was then stamped. Can you imagine this? We each got to learn at our own rate of learning.

    She would have loved blogging!

    Comment by Penny — September 6, 2011 @ 1:29 am

  77. Her name was Mrs. Nicely (really) and she taught me to love science.

    Comment by Carrie N. — September 6, 2011 @ 2:05 am

  78. Miss Jensen, my third grade teacher! It was her first year teaching and thinking back, she was so young! My dad was called up to active duty in Desert Storm that year and I remember how much of a comfort it was to have a kind and dedicated teacher at school.

    Comment by Mariah — September 6, 2011 @ 2:06 am

  79. My fave teacher was Mrs Miller, my second grade teacher. She was always encouraging and believed in your capabilities.
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

    Comment by aubreylaine — September 6, 2011 @ 2:45 am

  80. My favorite elementary teacher was Mrs. Merrill, who was incredibly patient, especially when she stayed after school to reteach me Greater Than and Less Than until I understood it properly.

    Comment by Ally — September 6, 2011 @ 2:50 am

  81. Mr. Date in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. Good thing he was a great teacher because I was in his class for three years!

    Comment by courtney — September 6, 2011 @ 3:04 am

  82. Mrs. Derrig for sure – so full of energy and I remember thinking she was so hip and cool….

    Comment by Julie — September 6, 2011 @ 3:32 am

  83. As a special education teacher myself, I appreciate this post. I have had many inspiring teachers over the years but my 6th grade math teacher really gave me the courage to strive for excellence in the classroom.

    Comment by Kelly N. — September 6, 2011 @ 4:37 am

  84. My favorite teacher was Miss Farmen, and it’s hard to put my finger on why she was my favorite, exactly…. But she was very nurturing and patient. Also, I used to LOVE cats and let’s be honest, sometimes kids like someone purely because they have something in common with them. Miss Farmen had a cat.

    I always wonder what she’s doing now?!

    Comment by Design Fixation — September 6, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  85. Ms. Robinson was, by far, my favorite grade-school teacher. One of the perks of being in her class was having the chance to sign up to hold her hand as we walked to the buses in the afternoon. Just that little thing made an impression on me and, surely, my other classmates, too!

    Comment by Nicole — September 6, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  86. Excited to see the peach, heirloom and bean salad – I’ve got all of them waiting to be in something.
    I’m afraid we don’t have Target yet in Canada but I had to write down my favorite teacher anyway. Her name was Mrs. Hoodle and I loved her because she introduced me to yoga, new kinds of art and running around to Hall of the Mountain King in gym.

    Comment by Luann — September 6, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  87. my favorite teacher was my grade 5-8 Band Teacher because she was always very kind, encouraging & pretty. Maybe i liked her best because we only saw her twice a week and there were no exams :)

    Comment by angela — September 6, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  88. My favorite was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Gruden. In addition to her incredible kindness (and awesome color-coded folder system for math lessons), she started every morning with a group sing-along to an oldies record. I’ve loved vinyl ever since.

    Comment by Becky — September 6, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  89. I absolutely loved my 1st grade teacher – Mrs. McKenna. The most kind, patient and encouraging teacher ever.

    Comment by Amy — September 6, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  90. My favorite teacher was AP Physics, Mr. Mogge. He really helped me when I struggled and renewed my passion in the subject. He was great when I dealt with some health issues and even had me come in during lunch for extra help.

    Comment by Heidi — September 6, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  91. I loved my 7th grade world history teacher, Ms. Johnson. She was so sassy and challenged us to succeed. She assigned us a project to pick any country in the world and give a 10-15 minute presentation and I remember picking Italy and going to her and begging her to let me bring in cannoli’s to give to the class as part of my project. Everyone in my class was so excited to eat them, including Ms Johnson! It made me so happy that she let me share with her and the rest of my class what Italy meant to me…delicious food!!

    Comment by Liz — September 6, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  92. Oh, I hope High School counts, because I can’t remember much from before that, but my high school Chemistry teacher – Mr. Peterson – was just the best! He really knew how to get along with the students without trying to be a “friend”, and still be a teacher. Plus, I think he was one of the few teachers I had who really seemed to see me for who I was instead of being my (genius) sister’s younger sister.

    Comment by Jennifer — September 6, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  93. Mrs. White, my elementary music teacher, was one of my favorite. She looked like a witch (dark black long hair) but was sweet as pie. She made our music lessons so much fun and you could tell that she loved her job!

    Comment by angie — September 6, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  94. I can always use a target gift card!

    favorite grade school teacher was Mrs. Milbrath–the sweetest first grade teacher you could ever hope for!

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — September 6, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  95. My favorite teacher was Mr. Luther, my fifth grade teacher. He wasn’t warm and fuzzy but he was really good about letting kids work at their own pace (a big thing for me as a bright, easily bored student) and he introduced me to some of the best books I’d ever encountered at that point (like Bridge to Terabitha, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc.).

    Comment by Sarah — September 6, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  96. Mrs. bashor, 4th grade, first teacher who made me feel like I had a skill and that I should do something about it (writing). She helped me enter poetry contests, signed me up for the school paper… no one had taken such a personal interest in me and I will never forget it. All these sweet comments, makes you think twice about being a good/positive person, especially to kids, they remember!!

    Comment by sara — September 6, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  97. I have to go with Mrs. Herman, because she openly shared she liked girls more than boys. She was just hysterical.

    By the way, love your tip about roasting tomatoes if they’re not completely ripe. As a lover of Greek salad year round, this is a life saver!

    Comment by Clara — September 6, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

  98. I’m not going to say the name of my 3rd grade teacher, but Mrs. S was the best teacher I ever had, especially after my not-so-pleasant 2nd grade teacher! Mrs. S combined teaching with wonderful stories about her life and family, and we all wanted to do our best for her. Sadly, she succumbed to depression by the time we reached high school. I hope that, somewhere in her personal darkness, she was aware of all the love we had for her.

    Comment by Rie — September 7, 2011 @ 12:00 am

  99. Favorite teacher was Mrs. Hall (3rd grade) because she really fostered playfulness in the classroom – art, music and general fun.

    Comment by Kelly — September 7, 2011 @ 12:41 am

  100. Miss O grade 4.

    Probably because I was the teachers pet haha ive grown out of that one :)

    Comment by Sara — September 7, 2011 @ 1:07 am

  101. Her name was Mrs. Larson (I think) and she was my teacher when I moved to the States. I remember her being very nice and welcoming, during what was a pretty tough last 2 months of 6th grade.

    Comment by Kirsten — September 7, 2011 @ 2:30 am

  102. My 1st grade teacher Mrs Golding was my favorite teacher. She was so patient. She was the sweetest woman, even when my best friend Beth threw up all over her. I still can recall the smell of her perfume and I always think of her when I catch a whiff of it.

    Comment by Melissa — September 7, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  103. My favorite teacher was my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Lowe. She ran a kindergarten with her daycare, so she just put me in the school area with the older kids when I was about three years old. Because of that, I learned everything early and it set me on a course to believe I was smart (I was reading at a third grade level by kindergarten graduation). I’m not really that smart, but I think if a kid believes it, that’s all that really matters for success. I owe her everything.

    Comment by Lesley — September 7, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  104. My 4th grade teacher, Mr. Chiponis. Not the typical grade school teacher, he had a dry sense of humor and expected a lot out of us. But he had a sweet side and taught in a way that made sense and stuck with me.

    Comment by Erin — September 7, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  105. my favorite teacher was my 4th grade teacher, ms. randolph. she & her niece lived on a farm & we took a field trip there the year i was in her class. it was magical – she had dogs, cats, horses, birds & lots and lots of land to roam around on. i remember it being around christmas time & she had baked cookies for us as well. she was a wonderful teacher — you could tell this woman was absolutely living a life she loved.

    Comment by megan — September 7, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  106. My 1st grade teacher, Mrs. McBride, saved my school career. I had the worst kindergarten teacher ever, and as a result I hated school. But Mrs. McBride showed me that school could be wonderful! Patient, kind, and so much fun, she made me look forward to school.

    Comment by Tina — September 7, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  107. Mrs. Anderson, my 3rd grade teacher. She had the best themed activities/events to go with our school work. We read Little House on the Prairie books and had a dress up day along with hands-on learning of things like churning our own butter and making our own ice cream.

    Comment by Charise — September 7, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  108. I had nuns. I was scared to death of Sister Perpetua, but she taught me to diagram sentences which has served me well to this day!

    Comment by Mona — September 7, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

  109. Ms. Wielly; my kindergarten teacher. She help this little shy girl feel special!

    Comment by Rachel — September 7, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  110. Miss Lisa with the curly hair that I was in awe of. :)

    Comment by Evee M — September 8, 2011 @ 12:22 am

  111. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Blodgett, my kindergarten teacher. She read the most fantastic books to us, fostering my need to read everything that I can!

    Comment by marti — September 8, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  112. I was very blessed to have numerous really great teachers throughout my education, so choosing an absolute favorite is difficult for me. In elementary school I would have to say it was 6th grade Ms. Splain. She was such a character and always went out of her way to bring her lessons to life, be it through costumes/skits/games/food/fun and once for a whole week she rented an indoor blow up planetarium which the whole class climbed inside of and we explored the galaxy together. It was magical.

    Thanks for the great giveaway! We love celebrating teachers! They are so unappreciated and overworked.

    Comment by Jacob's Kitchen — September 8, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  113. Mrs. Volz, my second grade teacher. My parents were having problems, and I was a mess at school. She took me under her wing, and was a real source of stability for me. She was also a fantastic artist, and really nurtured my creative side.

    Comment by Emily — September 9, 2011 @ 2:29 am

  114. My favorite was Mr. Becker, my 5th grade teacher! He was so funny and nice and fair and made the misbehaved kids behave without being mean or losing his temper!

    Comment by Liz M. — September 9, 2011 @ 3:02 am

  115. Oh I do! Target is my new Nordstrom. :) I miss you and your classes – that’s my favorite! Okay so my favorite elementary teacher was Ms. Harbor and I had her for reading in 1st grade. She was just the nicest lady who thought the stories I made up for creative writing were funny. xo

    Comment by Lindsey — September 9, 2011 @ 5:42 am

  116. Mrs. Walker came to our 4th grade class late in the year after the majority of my peers’ parents, mine included, had chosen to switch us to a different school the following year. Our original star teacher got pregnant and had to leave early on in the year. Our class was left with a ‘soon-to-be-permanent’ substitute teacher who was worse than Cruella de Vil, Miss Hannigan, The White Witch, or any other wicked villain. I spent most afternoons of my 4th grade year crying to my mother and wondering why a teacher could hate me so much and for so many things – how I dressed, for being smart, for my creativity, my knack for organization and tidiness, and her perception that because I am an only child I was spoiled.

    I remember the day that our new teacher, Mrs. Walker, came to our class. Mrs. Walker saw through my behavior, my need for perfection and for gold stars of recognition. She looked past my walls of hurt and saw me for me. She saw my insecurity and sensitivity as the odd numbered girl who desperately wanted to be liked but didn’t fit into the “cool girls’” cliques, my deep desire for stability at school because at home my parents were separated and on the verge of divorce, and how scared I was to fail at anything because that would mean I was not perfect. Mrs. Walker was kind, tenderhearted, caring and generous. She was young, stylish and fashionable, outgoing and energetic, and has a smile and personality that could make any child feel like it was Christmas every day in her classroom – she was my fairy godmother, my Glenda the Good Witch, my Mary Poppins.

    Cameron (formerly known to me as “Mrs. Walker”) and I shared a special bond that year that remains to this day. Her first child, Craig, was the first child that I ever babysat. I nannied for Cameron and watched her family grow to include two more beautiful children, both of which I cared for as well until I left for college. Life has moved on. Cameron’s children are in high school now and I’ve moved 3,500 miles away. We exchange Christmas cards and try to see one another when we can. When I think about the importance of teachers in children’s lives, I think back to my own experience. In one year I had two teachers that changed my life in very different ways. Thankfully for Cameron, she changed my life for the better.

    Comment by blair — September 9, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

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