The 4 Greatest Teachers of All Time

Written by Jason Scott. Posted in Daily Daft, Funny But True

What makes a great teacher?

At Daft Gadgets we think the mark of a great teacher is  the creation of a great student who not only expands their knowledge beyond their teachings, but also becomes a great teacher themselves.

In short, great teachers create great teachers.

#4. Socrates

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing” – Socrates

Most of what is known of Socrates comes from his pupils. He had the type of mind that could bring back everything on his wife’s grocery list without ever writing anything down. When Socrates taught his students, he engaged their minds through questioning and analogy.

Unlike George Orwell’s 1984 where thinking certain thoughts was a crime in itself, thought crime in Socrates City of Athens was about making students think for themselves and not blindly accepting what they were told.  However, just like in Orwell’s dystopian society, thought crime = Death.
Yes, the greatest teacher of all time was put to death for perverting the minds of youth with their own ideas and imagination, which the Athens city elders believed was “Iconoclastic”

Of course, some may argue that Socrates was a disingenuous ego maniac who liked to look down upon those of inferior intelligence. He gained this reputation by asking questions that he already knew the answers to as a way to get others to follow the same path of reasoning, or take him on a path of reasoning he had never been.

Some people got angry at this because it seemed like he was making fun of them, pointing out their ignorance when in fact, he was kind of saying “Now you see how screwed up I am with all this reasoning stuff”

So Who Did Socrates Teach that was So Important?

Well, there was this guy


Not to be confused with “Play Doh”

h3Not Plato/h3

(Not Plato)

Some of our favorite Plato Quotations on teaching are:

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

“Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.”

Plato was the price student of Socrates and founder of “The Academy,” the very first higher learning institution.

In his work called “The Republic” Plato envisioned a utopian society led by philosophers who were trained from birth to be rulers. However some critics considered Platos republic to be an elitist totalitarian regime masked under the guise of community and moral principals.

Although the Republic is Plato’s most famous work, it is most likely a branch off of his “theory of Forms” in that he is trying to find the true and perfect from of a “society.”

So who did Plato teach that made him such a good teacher?


Aristotle (Right) with Plato (Left)

Aristotle (Right) with Plato (Left)

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”

“All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”

Aristotle was Plato’s student for 20 years. He would later start his own higher learning institution known as the “Lycium” where he would expound a philosophy entirely different from his teacher Plato.

Aristotle the Student of the Student of Socrates would become considered by some as the father of empirical science and scientific method and go on to teach students like Alexander the Great, who as we know, was pretty great himself.


Haydn was not only one of the most prolific composers of the Classical period, but he was also known as the “Father of Symphony.”
So who did Haydn teach that was so impressive?

Well for one…


Here the teacher and student relationship did not work well, at least according to Beethoven. Beethoven felt that the composition lessons from Haydn offered him no value, but others have noticed a much stronger influence that Beethoven cared to admit. For example, Beethoven’s symphonies 1 and 2 have been described as “Hayden on Steroids.”

However Hayden “did” get along with another great composer who went by the name of Mozart.


Although not formally a teacher student duo, Mozart valued Hayden’s opinions and became highly influenced by him.

Hayden may have been overshadowed by his contemporaries, but it has been said that “his music often contained both the sublime lyricism of Mozart and the dramatic profundity of Beethoven.”

Sometimes the best teachers are those who share their experiences with others takings a similar path in life

Angelo Dundee

“I just put the reflexes in the proper direction.”

If you are ever in a fight, this is the guy you want in your corner.

Angelo Dundee is considered the greatest corner-man of all time. His fame began when coached Carmen Basilio in the defeat of world welterweight champion Tony DeMarco Followed by Sugar Ray Robinson.

Dundee worked with 15 world boxing champions over his career including Sugar Ray Leonard, Willie Pastrano , Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, José Nápoles, Luis Rodriguez and George Foreman. However his prize student is most likely none other than……

Muhammed Ali

Dundee trained Cassius Clay (Ali’s name back then) in fights against Archie Moore and Sonny Liston (Ali’s first famous heavyweight title match)

Other notable matches Dundee trained and coached Ali for include: Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Joe Frazier, Floyd Patterson, George Foreman, Ken Norton and, later, Leon Spinks (no this isn’t the Spinks that Tyson knocked out of boxing in 91 seconds although that fight was pretty memorable too if you weren’t out getting popcorn at the time)

The Way we see it, there’s teaching on and off the field and Dundee takes the top spot because not only did he prepare his students, he also helped them adapt to anything they faced in “Real Time,” and that’s something students usually have to learn painfully for themselves.

Andrea del Verrocchio

Andrea del Verrocchio was an Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter in Florence during the early renaissance.
Like Socrates, he didn’t leave a lot of works behind. Little is known about his life, but his advancement is said to be owed much to the patronage of Piero de’ Medici and his son Lorenzo.

However, there have also been accounts that he was apprenticed to Donatello (not the Ninja Turtle) early on in his career.

Not the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor
Not the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor

So who did this guy teach that makes him so well known?

Well this guy for one.

Leonardo Davinci

Davinci may be one of the most well know geniuses of all time.

Not just a painter, and sculptor, Davinci surpassed his mentor with his “unquenchable curiosity” by reaching into the realms of music, architecture, science, mathematics, engineering, invention, anatomy, geology, cartography, botany, and writing.

In 1466 Leonardo was apprenticed to Verrocchio who was associated with teaching other famous painters like Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, and Lorenzo di Credi. At the early age of 14, Leonardo was exposed to theoretical concepts as well as technical training in skills like drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics and carpentry as well as the artistic skills of drawing, painting, sculpting and modeling.

At 20 years of age, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine, but his bond with his teacher kept him working with Verrocchio even though Leonardo had his own workshop and artistic recognition,

Davinci was an obviously good student, but some make forget that the teacher who inspired him may deserve some of the credit.

You can Check  out the The Leonardo Da Vinci Catapult Kit if you would like to inspire a Genius of your own.  Its available in our Gadgets Shop.

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Jason Scott

"They will Rue the Day They Gave Me Free Reign Over this Blog" Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! (insert evil into laughter)

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