Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Share Your Great Teacher Story

Friday's events in Connecticut left me (and I imagine anyone) pretty shaken. However, since there's enough heartbreak on the news right now, I won't add to that here.

But that tragedy did remind me how great teachers and educators can be, and how many teachers have impacted me as a kid, and as I have my own kiddos now, into adulthood. Like my first grade teacher Mieke, who was smart, fair, kind, and just plain cool. My Latin teacher, who could always see the humor in my terrible Latin translations (I would come up with whole new stories that were totally not in the text). The great teacher at my kids' Colorado school, always ready to give a hug or a high-five.

Or the media specialist (that's a fancy word for librarian) I spoke to at a local convention earlier this month. The kids at her school come from poor families, where there's no book in the house for her K-4 classes to read. But that doesn't stop this awesome lady from encouraging her kids to read: she tells them to read cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, whatever they can get their hands on. She told me one kid brought in the label off a pillow because it had a word from his spelling list on it. Humbling stuff.

It takes a special person to be a teacher. 

How about you? who was your favorite teacher?


  1. Like you, I was lucky to have many great teachers. My 4th graade teacher, Mrs. Rossow (also the school principal)was strict but fair. And innovative. One lesson was about planning a trip to Australia. We had to learn all about the country (geography, history, sociology), determine what to pack and how much it would cost to buy everything new, and how long it would take to make the trip. In the spring, we tapped the maple trees in front of the school, collected the sap, made maple syrup and sugar and baked biscuits to put the syrup on.

  2. That sounds so cool--both the Australia trip and maple syrup project :-)

  3. Nice post, Fleur. The "media specialist" sounds like a very dedicated teacher and her pupils are lucky to have her. Indian students from a vernacular background are often told to read and memorise English anywhere and everywhere including names of shops and signboards. I didn't have any favourite teachers at school but my English teacher taught me the importance of spelling through his half-hour Dictation class that included word jumble from the previous Sunday's newspaper. I used to look forward to it every week.

  4. What amazed me about this lady was that she didn't seem to let poverty define her kids' education. Very inspiring.

    Your story of the Sunday newspaper use in class has that same practical use of everyday reading. Teachers can be so smart...