Last summer I took a course at T.C.’s Reading Institute with Kyleene Beers. She gave us a copy of her book Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise Into Practice. As I read parts of it, a section by Chris Crutcher resonated with me. Crutcher tells of a tough girl whose third grade teacher was the only one that was essentially there for her when she needed it. He kindly provided the reader with a one page overview of the girl’s situation and a quick overview about her adulthood reunion with her third grade teacher. Last summer, when I read this part, I had tears welling up in my eyes when Crutcher simply stated:
“Favorite teachers save lives.” — C.C., pg. 16
Yesterday, Ruth wrote a post that made me think of this quote by Crutcher. Ruth’s too humble to say it herself, but she saved Kyler’s Life when she was his teacher. I firmly believe that. And now, he’s headed for college. I couldn’t be more proud of the difference that Ruth has made in his life.
We have to remember that as a “favorite teacher” you don’t get this status by being nice (to them) or easy (with work), but you become a favorite by pushing a child, challenging him/her and showing him/her that you care.
Many of us feel like we’re just one of many teachers out there. Sometimes we feel as though we do not have a voice; that our voice is not heard by our politicians. However, we DO have a voice. We serve as a voice to and for our students. We are the example that many kids look up to. We might be the greatest, most important person in the universe to a child.
Let me leave you with one last thing that Crutcher says on pg. 18 of Adolescent Litearcy:
“There simply is no tougher job than that of Teacher.”
(I like that he capitalized the t-word.)