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The teachers profiled in “Unforgettable Miss Bessie”, “My Favorite Teacher”, and “And the Orchestra Played On” are remembered and admired by the narrators. Miss Bessie, Miss Hattie, and Mr. K. possessed significant qualities that made them remarkable educators. They inspired and encouraged students. They only wanted the best for their students and prepared them for their futures, enabling them to overcome difficulties in school. Besides the content of their subject matter these educators their taught students to believe that their lives and future all depends from themselves: whether they would choose the clean asphalt road or dirty, bumpy one.

In “Unforgettable Miss Bessie”, Miss Bessie is described by Carl T. Rowan as the best person he has ever known. He chooses the title that says “unforgettable” because Miss Bessie is always in his memory. She is his mentor. Miss Bessie could see her students through and knew their needs because she experienced it herself. Before Miss Bessie started teaching, she was poor and “couldn’t afford the four-year course” (167) but managed to feed her brain and mind. She taught students to do the same; “make the most of what you do have – a brain” (168). She inspired students to compose their own worldview, not to cheat on their own individual standards, and to gain enough knowledge to be satisfactorily efficient and skilled. She encouraged her students to read books and speak in an educated manner so that any person had a respect for them and was willing to listen and believed in their opinions. Wise, warm-hearted, and demanding, Miss Bessie gave students the motivation they needed to succeed. “Her wisdom and influence had rippled out across generations”(170).

In “My Favorite Teacher”, Thomas L....

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... harder…made us better than we had any right to be” (408). Mr. K. died, but the orchestra is “played on” and was not “played out”. His lessons left a legacy that inspired students to achieve more, even if the challenges were as tough as his music classes.
Miss Bessie, Miss Hattie, and Mr. K were sincere, dedicated, and encouraging teachers. They had sincere interest in their students and motivated them to be successful individuals. They inspired students to make the very best of their existence. They could be proud because students they taught achieved great goals. Carl T. Rowan, Thomas L. Friedman, and Joanne Lipman are successful and grateful for their teachers for being taught more than just school subjects. Miss Bessie, Miss Hattie, and Mr. K gave students the tools to control themselves, and live up to their fullest potential with confidence and knowledge!

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