Several teachers in my own formal education had a significant impact on me.
Sister Winifred (4th grade)
Sister Winifred made us memorize all the propositions in the English language. I think this drove me toward philosophy, as I was more eager to instead understand the essential essence and attributes of prepositions than to remember them all.
She also made us stand and would swirl around and point: "slowly." With nearly military type discipline, we would have to identify it as a proposition, adverb, or adjective.
Linda Williams (12th grade)
Williams reminds me of how Jaime Escalante was portrayed in Stand and Deliver.
She went above and beyond to custom-design courses on modern European history and contemporary foreign affairs. Getting relevant film clips, for example, was not so easy in 1986.
Richard Gale (undergraduate philosophy)
I worked very hard in Gale's metaphysics course, because Gale made the challenges fun. Without his encouragement, I probably would not have applied to graduate school and pursued a Ph.D. in philosophy.
Kurt Baier (undergraduate philosophy)
I took Baier's graduate philosophy of law course at the University of Pittsburgh, then ranked #1 in the world.
He did NOT go easy on me. But his assessment was formative. He wanted me to rewrite to make the arguments stronger.