How to Find an Old Teacher

Ever wonder what happened to your fifth grade teacher? Want to tell a high school English teacher "thanks" for insisting everyone learn how to outline a paragraph? Finding a school teacher might seem a difficult proposition, but thanks to school-provided resources, teacher's associations and the internet, it's certainly possible.

Check with the school office and identify yourself as a former student. Make sure the teacher is still teaching there by checking the school’s website. If not, the school office may have an idea where a former teacher went. Follow that trail by speaking to other school offices. Speak to any other teachers that taught at the same time.

Contact teacher's associations, retired teachers' organizations and the state education agency or the state board of education. See if they have an address for the old teacher. They may not give the contact information, but they might be willing to forward a letter or email to the person you're looking for.

Do a quick Google search to search for the teacher's name. Use quotation marks around the full name and use all variations of the teacher's name, such as William and Bill, Debra and Debbie. If the name is common, try narrowing it down by adding other pertinent information, like "John Doe" and "Memphis." Doing an online search using these search tools is your best bet to find them on social media sites, teacher’s unions, or in a school’s directory.

Search the online telephone and email directories. If there are too many results, narrow the number down by using geographic areas. Other public record searches, such as county appraisal lists and voter registration rolls, can be helpful.

Explore genealogical and family history sites. Many of these have obituaries, death and marriage records, as well as address directories. Some may charge a subscription price, but many are free.

Register at a class reunion website or alumni association. Look for other former students or old classmates and ask if they have any information or contact info for the old teacher.

Check out people-finding or white pages websites, such as Spokeo, to search the teacher's name. You can also reverse-search phone numbers and addresses, if you have the teacher's contact information but can't remember his or her name.

When in doubt, take to social media. Search your teacher's name on Facebook to see what turns up, or search his or her name or the name of your old school on LinkedIn. Even if you can't find the teacher you're looking for, you might be able to connect with other teachers who could help you out or find family members or old friends.