From her voice to her wardrobe, we remember the special details.

By Valerie Fraser Luesse
teacher chalkboard
From her voice to her wardrobe, we remember the special details.
| Credit: Lambert/Getty Images

When you ponder your K-12 years, memories of your favorite teacher are probably as strong as those of your best friend. A gifted schoolteacher can make you understand an isosceles triangle and make you believe in yourself, teach you to play the harpsichord or teach you to play soccer.

Maybe age has given us an appreciation for the law-and-order approach of the old-school principals back in the day, who patrolled the hallways daring us to even think about misbehaving, or the teachers who prayed for us and with us in class and invited "the Bible story lady" to visit now and again.

Times have changed. But our favorite schoolteachers can still deliver life-changing experiences, all in a day's work. (Personal aside: Thank you, Mrs. Dorothy Killough, for making me recite "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "The Highwayman" so I would understand the rhythm of language.)

We asked our Facebook Brain Trust to share: What things remind you of your favorite schoolteachers? Here's what they said:

  1. "The little chain on my vocal music teacher's watch. She had such elegant hands when she directed." (Cynthia)
  2. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Yoho, was a single lady who dressed like June Cleaver and drove a forest-green Corvette. I SO wanted to be her." (Karen)
  3. "Crimped hair, set with bobby pins." (Maridith)
  4. "Cameo brooches and beautiful white, perfectly set hair always remind me of my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Spruell, who was so kind and caring." (Becky)
  5. "Crew-neck sweater with a circle pin." (Ann)
  6. "A deep Southern drawl." (Peggi)
  7. "Glasses attached to a chain." (Darlene)
  8. "My math teacher wore a charm bracelet. It would tinkle like a wind chime whenever she got anxious or mad." (Warren)
  9. "Socks with Birkenstocks." (Erin)
  10. "The quick change from high heels to tennis shoes while we were lining up for P.E." (Kayla)
  11. "Mrs. Sarah Killough was my favorite teacher, and I think of her every time I see a peacock because she raised them on her farm." (Beverly)
  12. "A chalkboard eraser flying through the air." (Nena)
  13. "Chalky hands and a chalk-covered sweater . . . from wiping chalky hands on said sweater. (Carolanne)
  14. "Noxema and 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey." (Katsy)
  15. "Dresses and heels." (Shirley)
  16. "Hose and high heels." (Sherry)
  17. "Coffee breath!" (Jennifer)
  18. "The scent of Jergens lotion." (Regina)
  19. "My Spanish teacher, Mrs. Streeter, painted her nails to match her outfit every single weekday!" (Joni)
  20. "A beautiful smile and tight ‘shoulder hug' for each of us every day, from Mrs. Edith Nunnelley, fourth grade." (Vivian Ann)
  21. "One teacher would wear tennis shoes to graduation every year. Another wouldn't tell us what he was doing in chemistry class—but if he stood back and shielded the student closest to him, you knew something was going to blow up! I think we had more fun in the 80s." (Cindy)
  22. Dick and Jane readers, alphabet charts, and cigar boxes that held crayons, etc." (Margaret)
  23. "I did not have a favorite teacher. I disliked them all equally. Then again . . . I married one." (Frank)

WATCH: Octavia Spencer Thanks Her Childhood Teachers for Her Acting Career

The Montgomery, Alabama, native and Auburn grad is an author, producer, and Oscar-winning actress (we'll never be the same after meeting Minny in The Help). And she is sending out heartfelt thanks to all the teachers in her life.