Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: What Truly Matters #SOL18
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Slice of Life: What Truly Matters #SOL18

Today I was reading I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal with a second-grade class. As we neared the end of the book, I gave the students an opportunity to talk with their partner about what they thought this book was about. What was Amy’s message to her readers?  One reader’s response has caused me to pause, to think, to reread and to consider.  She said, “It is about hoping someone understands to appreciate what matters.  The things that matter should be what is important and she is wishing them more moments of knowing what matters in life.”

This is really what it all boils down to, isn’t it?  What truly matters in life. When I think back on my elementary school years, I remember my teachers.  I remember:

Sister Pauline – she delayed the play when I had the chicken pox.

Mrs. Abbott -she gave out Cool Whip pens when she noticed kindness.

Sister Joanne – she read every story I ever wrote (even the ones I wrote at home).

Mrs. K – she introduced me to Anne of Green Gables.

Mrs. Eliott – she planned a fraction party to celebrate new learning.

When I think back to my elementary years, I remember my teachers.  I remember small moments and slices of life with them.  I remember my interactions with them. As I remember, I realize what my teachers truly taught me. I understand what endures.  I know what matters.  Each of these memories stays with me because of how it made me feel.  One teacher, one child, one moment  – this is what truly matters.

We see how hard teachers work every day, often without the needed tools. We see what truly matters every day and want to impact the lives of teachers and students directly, so we are donating all royalties from our latest book, It’s All About the Books, to the Book Love Foundation.  Book Love is a nonprofit organization founded by Penny Kittle with one goal: to put books in the hands of teenagers. Our book will now expand that goal and put books into the hands of elementary and middle-grade students as well.

In honor of teacher appreciation week, we will be giving away two copies of our book.  Take a moment to share a memory of how a teacher made you feel in the comments below by Friday, May 11.  We will use a random number generator to choose a winner.  The winner will be announced on our blog on Tuesday, May 15

Thank you to all the teachers we have the privilege to learn with every day.  You inspire us, humble us, and truly overwhelm us with your dedication to children and learning.

Clare and Tammy

11 Comments
  • Margaret Simon
    Posted at 11:01h, 08 May Reply

    I have to thank a teacher for making me a writer. My 9th grade English teacher held a short story writing contest. I won for my row. I remember who won for the whole class because he wrote a clever story about not knowing what to write about. In my diary, I wrote “I want to be a writer. If only I had the courage.” I had the courage but didn’t know it. I buried it. But today, I thank that teacher for that small moment of courage.

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  • Julieanne
    Posted at 11:15h, 08 May Reply

    Such a wise and loving post. Thank you so much for sharing the moment, your reflection on your own elementary years and the gift of your book, My fifth-grade teacher was the first teacher to see me. I knew she loved me and I loved her. She was the reason I wanted to teach and the reason I taught fifth grade.

  • Laura Deutsch
    Posted at 11:53h, 08 May Reply

    What a grateful way to start the day. My first grade teacher made me feel like an author. I learned from an early age the importance of writing and working with a writing partner as well as having an older mentor in my 5th grade buddy.

  • Sarah E Parker
    Posted at 11:57h, 08 May Reply

    Thank you for helping us remember our most inspirational teachers. My english teacher in high school shared his own personal writing with us. Not only did he linger on the humanity of texts written by great authors, he showed us how to celebrate our own slices of life. He was the first teacher who modeled personal narrative writing alongside the other amazing literature we discussed every day.

    So I write. I share my writing. I try to linger on my own experiences and those I witness as well as the ones I read.

  • Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 12:48h, 08 May Reply

    What a beautiful post, and thank you for reminding us to remember our teachers. My high school English teacher loved books and loved sharing then with us. Mrs. Krantz was encouraging about our writing too. I owe her so much, but most of all, I owe her the fact that I learned to believe in myself as a reader and as a writer with something to say.

  • Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 12:56h, 08 May Reply

    What a wonderful tribute to our teachers in this special week. Thank you!
    I recall my second grade teacher, Miss Porter, reading Pippi Longstocking to us. I love hearing about the adventures of Pippi and her exciting life! Just a few years back Miss Porter handed me an envelope containing letters to Santa we wrote as 7 year olds! She wanted me to share the letters with my classmates at our class reunion!

  • Lisa Osterman
    Posted at 17:23h, 08 May Reply

    Thanks for always inspiring reflection! My high school English teacher Mrs. Schall. When you walked into her room the desks were in a circle. This is where I learned how to talk about books. Not spit back a summary or analyze text features, but truly have a conversation about what we were reading. The class formed a strong community and Mrs. Schall knew just the right titles to recommend.

  • Elisabeth Ellington
    Posted at 17:39h, 08 May Reply

    So much wisdom in this post! I think about a 9th grade teacher I had briefly at a new school. I don’t even remember his name because I wasn’t at the school for a full semester and it was a long time ago! We did mostly traditional stuff in his class, but when he found out I liked to read, he would drop a book at the corner of my desk, say “I think you’d like this one,” and move right on. And of course I absolutely had to read the book that he’d chosen just for me. I still remember how it felt to read The Human Comedy, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Watership Down for the first time.

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  • Alice Nine
    Posted at 22:54h, 08 May Reply

    I thought Miss Rice, my second grade teacher, was beautiful. I was fascinated by her “purple hair,” a color created by using a blue rinse on her gray hair. Miss Rice believed in us and what we could accomplish. Whenever someone said the word “can’t,” Miss Rice would stop everything we were doing. She’d act so surprised that “Can’t” had gotten into our room again. She’d have everyone pick up “Can’t’ and throw it out of an open classroom window. Miss Rice took “can’t” out of my thinking forever.

  • Trina Haase
    Posted at 23:55h, 08 May Reply

    What a lovely post. I wish You More is one of my favorite books. It always makes me all teary eyed when I read it with my daughter.

    One day, my 9th grade English teacher, Mr. Poss, noticed that I was writing poems in my notebook instead of working on the required essay. Instead of lecturing me about not using my time wisely (and my many missing assignments), he celebrated my poem and encouraged me to submit it to a poetry magazine. When it got published, he added it to a bulletin board he called The Shakespeare Club-a special place for published authors. This was the first time I ever felt smart about writing. .

  • Kathleen Sokolowski
    Posted at 02:23h, 09 May Reply

    I eagerly bought It’s All About the Books and it is such a gift! I had so many teachers who were inspiring and kind to me through the years, but my high school SS teacher and Key Club Adviser, Mr. Patrick Gallagher, made me see myself as a leader. He recognized special qualities in me and told me that I’m an inclusive person who looks to bring people into experiences and not exclude them- it meant so much to me that he recognized that in me. I think of it often. His letter of recommendation for a scholarship award is still something I read when I doubt myself or need a lift. I’ll never forget him and his influence in my life.

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