I had several teachers who had a great impact on me as a teenager. Two stand out above the rest. One was a history/government teacher who refused to accept less from anyone than he thought they were capable of producing. You either loved him or hated him, but you never, ever dismissed him. He was brutally honest, authentically human, and one of the most inspiring teachers I've ever met. That made him awesome. The other was a literature teacher who shared the human element of literature better than anyone I've ever known. We didn't just learn about the mechanics of writing from him, we learned about the content of the work, and the character of the authors. He was also intensely interested in the character and personalities of his students. Made him unforgettable as a teacher and exceptional as an EDUCATOR. Both taught you HOW to learn. They didn't just throw subject matter at you and send you on your way.