Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Mrs. Stearns was my Kindergarten teacher. She appreciated my crazy-good memory for the poems we learned each week.

Mrs. Pollack was my third grade teacher. She read aloud to us from challenging chapter books. That time each day was sacred to me.

Mrs. Broker was my fifth and sixth grade general music and chorus teacher. Her encouragement set the course for my life.

Mr. Atwood was my AP US History teacher. He was a mentor, advocate and guide in turbulent adolescent years.


I was a shy, socially awkward kid with terrible fine motor skills. I was bright and articulate but my work habits were shaky. I could write a poem that made adults cry. Going to the board to solve a math problem made me cry. (Or at least filled me with dread, anyway.)

I played well in worlds of my imagination, but not on the playground, or in gym class. I had allergies, asthma, and frequent ear infections. I always came to school clean and nicely dressed, with all appropriate school supplies. But my home life was often emotionally abusive.

Every day teachers face rooms full of individual human beings who come with their own needs, issues, talents, challenges. We ask teachers to bring their best to the classroom and get the best from our children. It is a big job.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week.

Please thank a teacher.

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