Tuesday, May 14, 2013

4 Kids | If You Can Read This...

...thank a teacher. I'm not trying to be funny here; I'm totally serious.

When I think of the people who have inspired me, believed in me, and encouraged me, most of them are teachers. And since our parents are our first teachers, here's a shout out to my wonderful parental unit -- Norm and Sandra -- for being my first teachers.

Teachers rock. They teach us skills so we can succeed in  life. They encourage our creativity. They help us work through problems, be those math problems or just life problems in general! They teach us the importance of teamwork. They open the doors to the world of learning. Wow!

I know a whole bunch of teachers, and I know how much they do -- beyond the hours in the classroom -- to help students succeed. Heck, I know teachers who buy stuff for the classroom out of their own pockets! Don't believe me? I promise you it's true. I spent Saturday with my BFF (who just happens to be a teacher) who spent money out of her own pocket to buy some much needed stuff for one of her young students. My BFF has a heart of gold, BTW.

And history is full of great teachers!

Annie Sullivan was the pioneering teacher who overcame disability and misfortune before achieving her success as one of the most famous educators of all time. We remember her because she was Helen Keller's teacher. Read about Annie Sullivan in Marfe Ferguson Delano's book Helen's Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's Teacher.

There's also Mary McLeod Bethune, the black educator who was instrumental in creating opportunities for blacks in education and government. Read all about this extraordinary woman in Amy Robin Jones' book Mary McLeod Bethune

I just saw in the newspaper that my 6th grade teacher -- Mr. Albert Perez -- passed away. It's been a few years (ok, a lot of years) since I sat in his classroom at John Adams School, so I'm a tad bit fuzzy on the details. But I remember him as someone who was always encouraging to me and who made learning fun. To have an adult believe in you at a young age is quite a gift!

So thank you, Mr. Perez. You made a difference in my life.

The message for today? Thank a teacher. The lessons they teach you today will stay with you for a lifetime.

P.S. Check the Library's website later this week for the announcement of the Children's Book Week Writing Contest winners!


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