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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published 01001-2014.


Several weeks ago, I realized that my concept of “best” teachers had changed dramatically. Perhaps that awareness came partly because it dawned on me that so many of my best teachers had died. But clearly, my definition has broadened and become enriched rather than diminished as it has changed throughout my lifetime.

Simpson family

Without a doubt, early in my life, my best teachers were members of my immediate family—in fact, they still are, and I love and respect them dearly for how they have impacted my life. Also, I can quickly identify significant high school, college, and graduate school master teachers and Carroll emeriti who nurtured my love of learning, introduced me to new ways of thinking, challenged and encouraged me, and served as role models of scholarship, intellectual curiosity, fairness, integrity, and decency.ColeHowever, many of my “best” teachers today are much younger than I am, are of different species, are scattered across the globe, or are virtual rather than human. I learn so much from playing with two (and almost two-year-olds) and four-year-olds in all their innocence.*Training with AbbyRobin the NewfNewf TeacherAt eight years of age, Robin-the-Newf continues to teach this Old Dog, if not new tricks, the value of being puppy-like. My research assistants always teach me new things or, by their behaviors, remind me that I am no longer nor will again be 21 years of age! My new Internet International friends in Turkey, Lithuania, and Spain remind me, through their teaching, of the universality of a belief in the importance of teaching and learning and of creating bridges of learning activities across age, culture, language, and gender differences.  And I find more and more resources available for computer-mediated professional development and self-directed learning. Who (what) are your “best” teachers?