Your Favorite/Worst Teacher

flickr photo shared by Ape Lad under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license


Through childhood, youth and adulthood we’ve all had teachers. It begins with our parents and then with our friends. Early on we also embark on the lengthy 10-15 year journey of formal schooling. Some of us hated it, some of us loved it, but surely we’ve all had both positive and negative learning experiences over those years. Some teachers tend to stay in our memory forever; for their brilliance, for their awfulness, for their character, for their expressions or for some specific moments that are simply unforgettable. While reading this, can you see how your memory videotape is running in the back of your head? What do you see?

In this activity we will reflect back to the teachers we’ve had and different learning experiences in our life. What stands out as positive or negative? And how have those experiences and impressions shaped as as the people that we are today?

Activity Type

Group / Experiential


30 min

Learning Outcomes

  • To reflect on your past learning experiences and what a good/bad learning experience is like

  • To observe the common themes in good and bad teaching/learning experiences

  • To understand that there are similarities and personal differences on how we generally like to learn


Required Materials and Tools:

  • Paper and pen for each participant

  • Possible use of a white board

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Split participants into pairs.

  2. In turns, invite the participants to spend five minutes each sharing with their partner about their favorite teacher/learning experience: Who were they, what was it about that teacher that they liked? What was it about the experience that was good? Maybe they have a particular story to tell. Ring a bell after five minutes and switch so the other person can share about their favorite teacher.

  3. Give them five more minutes in total to write down anything they took from that, especially if they can identify certain things that made the teacher/experience leave a positive impression.

  4. Repeat step 2, but with the worst experience/teacher.

  5. Repeat step 3, but with the worst experience/teacher.

  6. Bring the whole group together and ask them to share what they've learned/shared with their partner: What are common traits to good/bad teaching/learning experiences? See if there are connections!



  • What common themes do you observe in good and bad teaching/learning experiences?

  • Are there differences and similarities that are obvious of how we like to learn?

  • Did the exercise bring any insight on how you would like to learn or teach in the future?

Instructions for Submission

Submit your response to the Reflection questions. Instructions on how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

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