Great Teachers I’ve had, Part 1: Dr. James McTee

Dr. McTee was my senior English teacher at A.C. Jones High School, Beeville, Texas back in the 1990-1991 school year. He was tough, quiet and knew his material. He seemed to have an almost photographic memory of books, and it was very apparent to me that he adored books. I started off in his Honors class but, by the end of the first semester, was forced to transfer down to regular English classes. Still, I stayed in his class (something I requested to do if I didn’t make it in honors). My grade for the year was around 85%, but I really found myself really learning to love reading while in his class. Someday, if things work out, I’d love to teach English at the secondary level, and I feel that if I employ his techniques, style and love for reading, it would be hard to go wrong.

Dr. McTee’s instruction was clear: keep up on the reading, understand what’s going on and be able to intelligently discuss it and you should do fine.

I’ll never forget that day I did a book report with him on dress-up day; normally a man to wear slacks, open-collared short-sleeved white dress shirt with a t-shirt underneath, Dr. M was dressed in his hobby: bicycle rider. My book report was on Deliverance, and to this day it still amazes me how much the doctor knew about countless books. If you didn’t know the answer on a quiz or test, it was best to leave it blank: some teachers you could fool if you could write creatively enough, but most certainly not him.

Dr. McTee, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re enjoying your retirement.


One comment on “Great Teachers I’ve had, Part 1: Dr. James McTee

  1. Enjoyed your comments about James McTee. I also had him for senior English in 1968 and still think about him. He was the best teacher I ever had. He talked about fundamental things like learning from experience. He was very different from any other teacher I’ve ever had. I always expected him to become famous as a writer or poet. I still think about things I learned from him. Thanks for the article.
    Bill McKinney, M.D.

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