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Volume 3 Number 5

Harry & Rosemary Wong urge, "If you are a teacher applying for a job, it is essential that you ask the question at the interview: Does this district have a new teacher induction program? "...
Apple Seeds by Barb Erickson
Special Days This Month by Ron Victoria
Poem - Lines Written for a School Declamation
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Alternative Landscaping by Goose
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    "Mother's Day Butterfly and Poem" from the Lesson Bank by Elaine Magud
    Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Teachers.Net Survey Teachers Remember "Their" Favorite Teachers
    The Lesson of Susan by key
    Sometimes we don't know what touches, and teaches, a student. by Juvie
    When Students ask, "Why Do We Need to Know This? When Will I Ever Use This?"
    What Is Most difficult About Teaching Today?
    Index of Columns
    Index of Articles
    Index of Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    A Candle of Inspiration...

    The Lesson of Susan

    by key
    on the Teachers.Net Chatboard

    As I was correcting tests today, I picked up one that belonged to a student of mine who almost always impressed me with great penmanship and mathematical accuracy. What amazed me most was that this student, Susan, was not high on the list of perfect attendance. Instead she was a model of what I would call the "here today, gone tomorrow" type of student. I have never been bothered by her missing so much school. She always came back with a smile and finished homework and pulled A’s on almost every test she would take. Not once has Susan ever made my job difficult.

    I continued to look over Susan's math test, still impressed with how well she grasped the concepts that were usually difficult for her age, when I remembered that just a year ago this young girl (as a seventh grader) lost her home to a fire. Her family lost everything...a total loss, including her clothes and all her mementos from adolescent life. I was quite pleased when she showed up in my classroom again at the beginning of this her 8th grade year. She gleamed when she told me how her family had built a new house where her old one once stood.

    I must contend that the maturity level of this age group often drives me up a wall. Yet, there are a few like Susan who separated herself from the flirtatious silliness of her peers. I had to appreciate that as well. After two years little had to be said between Susan and me...student and teacher. She knew my expectations and followed them well. I in turn gave her respect and always the benefit of doubt.

    As I finished correcting this test, marking an "A" and the word "Super" with a smiley face in the bottom of the "S" as I have done for her so many times, I remembered how much Susan must have been looking forward to her birthday. On Friday of last week a few of her friends gathered at her house for a sleep over to help her celebrate. Through the experience of raising a step daughter of that age I know how the craziness of such parties can be. Susan's party was no different. At least it didn’t start out to be any different.

    That night as Susan slept with friends she woke with breathing problems as a result of her asthma. By the time her mother got to her with her inhaler, Susan had died. And now I sit here with this perfect paper in my hand not knowing even why I corrected it. So young, so much life ahead of her and in a moment it is gone.

    Other teachers around me talked a little about what had happened in the early hours of the day, but soon seemed to brush it aside, not willing to show emotion. When my last hour class came in, we talked. I asked them If anyone else during the day took time to talk to them about Susan. It seems as though they had not. Such an unwillingness to embrace life to its fullest every single day goes hand in hand with life. So much taken for granted and much left - dreamt but undone.

    So much has been written in inspiration. "Stop to smell the roses." "Live every day as if it's your last." "Live for now." We all idolize these words, put them in frames and poster size them. But do we really ever follow them? Life is precious. strike that. "Live your dreams".


    A Candle of Inspiration...

    Sometimes we don't know what touches, and teaches, a student.

    by Juvie
    on the Teachers.Net Chatboard

    I got the sweetest call this morning from my day student who called to tell me he was very sick and wouldn't be in. He sounded awful. He remembered me staying home with one of my own sick sons a few weeks ago. He said, "I almost came in because I hate being alone when I am sick. I remembered you staying home with your kid. I am gonna be that kind of parent someday. I want my kids to feel important to me".

    I know this kiddo is making progress in his life and this is evidence.