Shmoop's (Natural) Resources for Teachers

Mined by us. Refined by you. Loved by your students.

Shmoop loves teachers. Many of us have taught on the high school or college level. When we set out to define the "Shmoop approach" to learning, we used one simple exercise:

Think of our favorite teachers, coaches, and mentors.
Then do what they did.

We Shmoopers (folks who produce Shmoop) wanted to give a nod to our favorite teachers and share a bit about how they influenced our lives and our work on Shmoop.

  • Preschool and Kindergarten

    Ms. Peckie Peters

    Bing Nursery School, Stanford, CA
    Why: Prepared us for the dog-eat-dog world of kindergarten

    Ms. Jennifer Dutcher

    Kindgergarten and 1st grade, Brookfield School, Sacramento, CA
    Why: No one teaches reading like Mrs. Dutcher. She demystified the word "the" by drawing a little birdcage around it on the board, to symbolize the fact that it doesn't always follow the rules. She made 5 year-olds feel like the smartest, most invincible people around.

  • Elementary

    Mrs. Elizabeth Calcagni

    Burlington, VT
    Why: A natural-born teacher, fabulous at teaching everything from reading to multiplication to driving.

    Ms. Ruth Carson

    Gifted and Talented program, Beverly Elementary School, Beverly Hills, MI
    Why: Introduced me to the Apple IIc. Helped me believe that I could take on great challenges and make a big impact in the world.

    Mr. Allen Caucett

    Art, Maple Dale Elementary School, Fox Point, WI
    Why: Made us believe we were all great artists

    Miss Carol Frietag

    First grade, Beverly Elementary School, Beverly Hills, MI
    Why: Always kept us laughing. Finally taught me how to write a proper lower-case r.

    Ms. Jan Gillespie

    Math, Woodlawn Elementary School, Portland, OR
    Why: Cares more about teaching ALL children than anyone I've ever known. Thanks Mom.

    Mrs. Patsy Hannebrink

    Clear Creek School, Grass Valley, CA
    Why: Plays "Flight of the Bumblebee" on an accordion like nobody's business.

    Ms. Jill Kohler

    English, Maple Dale Elementary School, Fox Point, WI
    Why: Taught us to aim high

    Mr. Scott Lay

    Clear Creek School, Grass Valley, CA
    Why: Because a worthy nemesis demands respect.

    Mr. Brian Monroe-Jones

    General Studies, Meadowdale Elementary, Lynwood, WA
    Why: Incredible teacher who made every day fun and inspired me to excel to my full potential

    Mrs. Mary Nelson

    Third grade, Station Avenue Elementary School, South Yarmouth, MA
    Why: For giving 110% of herself to teaching...every single day

    Mrs. Pat Newman

    6th Grade English, Brookfield School, Sacramento, CA
    Why: She would never, ever settle for less than 200%.

    Mrs. Carla Nordstrom

    Clear Creek School, Grass Valley, CA
    Why: Was the only person in the classroom who ate more chocolate than we did.

    Mr. Patrick Russell

    Social Studies, Maple Dale Elementary School, Fox Point, WI
    Why: Taught us that the world is round and that the United States doesn't always sit at the center

  • High School

    Mr. John Arfwedson

    Comparative Literature, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Long Beach, CA
    Why: A kind-hearted, encouraging, extremely bright and inspirational teacher

    Mr. Belton

    Biology and Environmental Science, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT
    Why: An incredible storyteller

    Ms. Jane Bidwell

    English, Ulysses S. Grant High School, Portland, OR
    Why: Brilliant, challenging, intimidating but caring; she was both the toughest and the best teacher I ever had

    Mrs. Jean Bondurant

    English, Meadowdale High School, Lynwood, WA
    Why: Hilarious and tough as nails, she made English a subject worth respecting (or else)--and, because of her, I may never misplace a comma again.

    Mr. Frank Colasonti, Jr.

    Guidance Counselor, Wylie E. Groves High School, Beverly Hills, MI
    Why: One of the first openly gay educators in Michigan. Named Michiganian of the Year in 1992 for fighting to keep sexual orientation instruction in secondary curriculum. Showed me that an openly gay man and activist could still be the most popular counselor in the school.

    Mr. Aaron Crowell

    Life Science, Cape Cod Academy, Osterville, MA
    Why: For teaching and coaching with enthusiasm and humor

    Ms. Nicole Furlonge

    English, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ
    Why: The most inspiring teacher who drills down to the heart and soul of what it means to be a humanist and scholar. Every class is magical and brings you closer and closer to the sun of truth.

    Mr. Tim Gillespie

    English, Lake Oswego High School, Portland, OR
    Why: The best writer I know, and by far the best editor. Taught me to love books and bookstores. Thanks Dad.

    Mr. Miles Heller

    American History, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT
    Why: A teacher with the gift of making American History exciting and relevant to his students.

    Mrs. Mattie Hutter

    English, Bear River High School, Grass Valley, CA
    Why: Was so lovable that she put students in constant danger of calling her "mom."

    Mr. David Johnson

    Algebra, Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI
    Why: Made mathematics a blast

    Ms. Diahann Johnson

    French Language, St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
    Why: She makes the study of language a most magical process.

    Mr. Hale Keller

    English and Speech, Woodside High School, Woodside, CA
    Why: Made English and public speaking fun and exciting. We always knew he cared.

    Ms. Kiefer

    History, Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI
    Why: Recognized that those who don't learn history might relive it.

    Mrs. Arlene Kolber

    Biology, Woodside High School, Woodside, CA
    Why: Gave us wings to fly.

    Mr. Russ Kubiak

    English Literature, Menlo School, Menlo Park, CA
    Why: He threw things at you if you got the answer wrong

    Mr. George Mangan

    English, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
    Why: For teaching us to love literature, be tough on our own writing, and appreciate Kerouac.

    Mr. Chuck Martell

    Physics (and Tennis Coach), Ulysses S. Grant High School, Portland, OR
    Why: Great teacher and mentor. Almost (but not quite) turned me into (a) a science guy and (b) a good tennis player

    Mrs. Janet Mason

    English, Bear River High School, Grass Valley, CA
    Why: Locked us in the room to watch Sense and Sensibility even though it wasn't on the reading list.

    Ms. Monica Matouk

    English, St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
    Why: She told everyone on the first day of AP English that English is not something that certain people are good at and others are not; by virtue of being a human living in the world, anyone has the potential to make huge contributions to the world of literature and the humanities.

    Mr. John McGiff

    Visual Art, St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
    Why: A brilliant artist and a devoted teacher who knows the power of real, true observation; that is, the art of seeing things even when they are not visible.

    Mrs. Natasha Miller

    English, Meadowdale High School, Lynwood, WA
    Why: First to inspire my interest in English

    Mr. David Morehouse

    History, Bear River High School, Grass Valley, CA
    Why: Not only allowed, but encouraged us to make such historical reenactments as The Russian Revolution: A Musical.

    Mrs. Becky Powers

    Everything, Home School, El Paso, TX
    Why: A wonderful teacher.

    Ms. Marilyn Radtke

    English, Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI
    Why: Loved lit

    Ms. Ana Ramirez

    Spanish Language, St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
    Why: She illuminates the world.

    Mr. Tad Roach

    English, St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
    Why: Mr. Roach knows what it means to engage both the hearts and the minds of his students. He knows how to feed the beating heart of any community.

    Mr. Richard Roy

    English, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT
    Why: An inspiring teacher with a great sense of humor, Mr. Roy opens up the world of poetry and literature to his students.

    Mr. Wally Schuster

    Math, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Long Beach, CA
    Why: Maintained a wonderful sense of humor and kept his students smiling, even when some of us struggled with the course content

    Mr. Douglas Shonk

    Pre-Calculus, Wylie E. Groves High School, Beverly Hills, MI
    Why: Managed to make trigonometry the best hour of the day. We loved Shonk so much that we threw him a surprise Thanksgiving party called "The Cornucopia of Calculus Thanksgiving Feast."

    Mr. William Speers

    English, St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
    Why: The world would be less soulful without Mr. Speers.

  • College

    Dr. Margaret Anderson

    European History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: Uses her sense of humor to great effect. Clearly one of the most brilliant people you'll ever meet, but never ever pretentious.

    Mr. Brian Andresen

    Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: For making an organic chemistry lab somehow less initimidating, and for being the most patient mentor I've ever known

    Ms. Marlene Angeja

    Practice of Art, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
    Why: A passionate instructor who is incredibly patient with all of her students.

    Ms. Iris Berger

    History, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY

    Dr. Thomas Brady

    European History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: Exciting and energetic lecturer who projects a genuine love for the smallest details of history.

    Professor John Burgess

    Philosophy, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Expertly and compassionately mentors all undergraduates hoping to major in Philosophy.

    Ms. Gabi Calvocoressi

    Poetry Writing, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: A brilliant poet in her own right, she finds the heart of any young poets words and fears.

    Professor Ellen Chances

    Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Gave impassioned lectures about Russian books that excited her students about the subject.

    Professor Ze'Eva Cohen

    Theater and Dance, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Asked for a high level of commitment, technique and passion from her students, but gave even more than she required.

    Ms. Patricia Crespo-Martin

    Spanish, Foothill College, Los Altos, CA
    Why: Didn't think my Spanish accent was atrocious

    Professor Justin Du Bois

    Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: For being the busiest prof. I know and still finding time to teach, advise, and guide. And for making organic chemistry absolutely fascinating.

    Professor Sean Kelly

    Philosophy, Princeton University (now at Harvard University), Cambridge, MA
    Why: Made continental philosophy and philosophy riveting. Encouraged us to actively engage with the material

    Professor Donald Kennedy

    Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: Supported our social entrepreneurship and inspired us to be our best. One of the best speakers I know.

    Professor Satti Khanna

    South Asian Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC
    Why: Taught the most unstructured, introspective course I ever experienced. He helped me take meaningful steps forward in life.

    Ms. Nadiesda Kizenko

    History, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY

    Dr. Kerwin Klein

    United States History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: A story-teller who uses clear and uncomplicated language to describe very complex concepts.

    Dr. Leon Litwack

    United States History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: Provocative story-teller who challenges each and every one of our preconceptions about American history

    Professor Beatrice Longuenesse

    Philosophy, Princeton Univeristy (now at NYU), New York, NY
    Why: Challenged me to bring my analysis to a higher level. Spent countless hours working me independently on my Senior Thesis.

    Ms. Kate Mangelsdorf

    English, University of Texas, El Paso, El Paso, TX

    Dr. Waldo Martin

    United States History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: Engages his students in unique ways, inviting them to think outside of the box.

    Mrs. Francine Masiello

    Comparative Literature, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: Has a totally inclusive and delightfully irreverent approach to literature

    Mrs. Karen Moller

    Scandinavian, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: Taught us that the Danish language is beautiful. (On the inside.)

    Dr. Ellen Porzig

    Human Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: Helped me realize how much a supportive, empowering teacher can change your life.

    Dr. Uwe Reinhardt

    Economics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Brought such humor to his class that even accounting was a sell-out

    Professor Gideon Rosen

    Philosophy, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Each semester hundreds of students sign up for his Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology. He made a difficult subject approachable and fun.

    Mrs. Karin Sanders

    Why: Flies into a passion when you mention mummified bog bodies.

    Professor Diann Sichel

    Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Helped each student reach their full potential in technique, and especially in choreography.

    Professor Karl Uitti

    French and Italian, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: Quite simply a brilliant life-long scholar of romance linguistics and philology who mentored so many of his students.

    Professor Bas van Fraassen

    Philosophy, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Why: His passion for philosophy and life was truly infectious.

    Ms. Katherine West

    English, New Mexico State University

  • Graduate School

    Prof. Barton Bernstein

    History, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: Made me want to be a historian.

    Dean Paul Brest

    Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA
    Why: Helped us think about how people's lives can be changed by good lawyers.

    Ms. DeAngela Burns-Wallace

    Higher Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: Ms. Burns-Wallace embodies the word "phenomenal." No one is as dedicated, clear-eyed, and giving as she. She's an advocate in every sense of the word, and the world is better with her in it.

    Mr. Irv Grousbeck

    Entrepreneurship, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford, CA
    Why: Helped us learn how to make thoughtful and ethical decisions on our feet. Encouraged us to seize the day.

    Professor David M. Henkin

    United States History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: A wonderful mentor, brilliant mind, and talented lecturer who prompts his students to reexamine the historical roots of modern life and the many aspects of cultural identity that we oftentimes take for granted.

    Professor William Lazier

    Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA
    Why: Pragmatic, witty, intelligent, inspiring, and extremely caring. Empowered us to be our best.

    Professor Leon Litwack

    United States History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: My mentor, inspiration, and great friend. A truly wonderful person and a renowned scholar who teaches his students how to stand in the shoes of those who came before them. He has always reminded us that the study of American history is more than an exercise in self-congratulation and nostalgia; it is about the human consequences of the wars (declared and undeclared), politics, legislation, economics, and ideologies that comprise our past.

    Professor Margaretta M. Lovell

    Art History, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Why: A professor who challenged me to do some of my best work by pushing me but also believing in me. A scholar who has influenced our understanding of the ways in which art has intersected with some of the most critical issues of the American past: class, inheritance, legacy, gender, and family, to name a few.

    Dr. Jack McDonald

    Investment management, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford, CA
    Why: Mentored every student who passed through his class.

    Professor Peter Nemes

    Chemistry, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
    Why: An incredibly talented teacher who made biochemical pathways exciting and engaging; his passion and deep understanding of the material came through in every lecture. In addition, he dedicated hours and hours each week to helping students understand difficult material.

    Professor Robert Rabin

    Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA
    Why: A great teacher and explorer of important ideas and principles of law.

    Ms. Karen Ransom

    Higher Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: Ms. Ransom knows how to teach because she has made it a point of learning how to crave learning.

    Prof. Richard Roberts

    History, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Why: Inspiring mentor to young teachers in history. Made me wish I was an Africanist.

    Professor Todd Sauke

    Physics, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
    Why: An expert teacher who dedicated himself to helping students succeed.

    Professor Buzz Thompson

    Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA
    Why: Made environmental law come alive.