The two people who changed my life were both my teachers.
Role: 1st Grade Teacher
Carol Snook was the most amazing teacher a child could ask for. She celebrated each student and cherished what was unique about each of her 14 kiddos (the year I had her). She insisted that we keep in touch with her at the end of the school year, which I did. We kept in touch until the day she died in 2002.
Carol was the person who inspired me to write. I published lots of little books the year she was my first grade teacher. She’d put them in our classroom library no matter how little, silly, or trivial they were. She allowed me to adopt the persona of a writer. She made me love writing since she celebrated my work by putting it in the classroom library.
Role: Graduate School Professor for Three Semesters
Carol taught me how to write, but Lucy taught me how to teach kids how to write. She pushed me hard when I was in graduate school. Sometimes I wasn’t sure why she pushed me as hard as she did, but I’ve come to realize that she knew I was capable of doing better. I am so thankful that Lucy continuously pushed me to do my personal best. I’m a much better teacher (of writing and reading) as a result of her guidance, instruction, and mentoring.
Furthermore, Lucy taught me how to be a better writer. She especially got me to understand what real revision was about. I always thought revision was making a few changes before going to editing, but then I encountered Lucy. She taught me that if my first draft and my final piece look even remotely similar, then I didn’t really revise since revision means to “re-see.” As a result, I now know how to revise my work, and therefore I think the writing I’m doing today is much stronger as a result of this powerful lesson.
This photo was taken on the day I graduated from Teachers College in May 2007. I had the opportunity to introduce Lucy to my family and vice versa. Marc snapped a quick photo of us during the post-Commencement celebration.
Isn’t it fascinating that BOTH of the people who changed my life were teachers?
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.