The Best History Teacher I Have Ever Known

14 Mar

When the news came, I was going through a stack of documents in a local history museum. At first, it felt like the appropriate place to be.

Monty Pope – my friend and my mentor – had passed away.Monty Pope

Several months ago, I wrote a post about his influence on my life. It did not nearly say enough, but I hope you will read it. Hopefully, it will give you some idea of how great a man he was.

A few days ago, my colleague wrote a heartfelt tribute to Monty. I hope you will also read his thoughtful words.

After hearing of Monty’s passing, the feeling hit that I needed to be somewhere else. Yes, I was surrounded by history, a subject that Monty loved, but, selfishly, I needed one more moment with him. This was not the place for that.

That is when I decided to go to school, the place where Monty positively influenced thousands of people. I went to one of the classrooms where we both have taught dozens of classes and sat in one of the chairs.

That is where the realization came that future students will not have the good fortune of those who came before. We will tell them the same history that they would have heard from Monty, but they will not be recipients of his kindness, his caring and his devotion.

I, like thousands of others, am fortunate to have known Monty and been taught by him. Hopefully, I can honor him by being the best history teacher that I can possibly be. However, I will never reach my goal of being as good as him.

Monty Pope was the best history teacher and one of the best people I have ever known.

11 Responses to “The Best History Teacher I Have Ever Known”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong March 14, 2015 at 20:54 #

    A great teacher changes the course of lives. I’m glad you had one of them in your world. It makes such a big difference. My condolences on your loss.

    • Rick March 14, 2015 at 21:39 #

      Thank you

  2. Andrew Petcher March 15, 2015 at 07:55 #

    That is sad news! At secondary school we had a Methodist Minister called Brian Keen who taught RI and I really liked him and always enjoyed his lessons. One day in assembly the headmaster announced that he had died suddenly. I was stunned.

    • Rick March 15, 2015 at 13:59 #

      That’s always a shock. This wasn’t sudden. He had been sick for a while.

      • Andrew Petcher March 15, 2015 at 14:17 #

        I am sorry for your loss!

      • Rick March 15, 2015 at 14:19 #

        Thank you

  3. Bantering Ram March 15, 2015 at 15:37 #

    I’m sorry for your loss, Rick. You were fortunate to have a great teacher in Mr. Pope.

    “Hopefully, I can honor him by being the best history teacher that I can possibly be”. Yes.

    • Rick March 15, 2015 at 18:06 #

      Thank you. I try to do the things that he did.

  4. Musings from a Tangled Mind March 16, 2015 at 01:54 #

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. From the way you describe him, I think that you wanting to be the best teacher you can be is what would have made Mr. Pope the proudest of all…and the way you reach out to all of us here with your words. Seems to me Mr. Pope’s legacy does indeed live on…

    • Rick March 16, 2015 at 02:12 #

      Thank you. He made an impact on thousands of people. If we all did half of what he did, then the world would be a better place.


  1. A Historical Reunion | Surrounded By Imbeciles - March 26, 2015

    […] Sunday, the memorial service was held for Monty Pope. You have read about him a couple of times on this blog and, hopefully, got a glimpse of what he meant to the people he encountered. In fact, hundreds of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: