“Where are the heroes of today?” a radio talk show host thundered. He blames society’s shortcomings on public education, of all things! I think too many people are looking for heroes in all the wrong places. Movie stars and rock musicians, athletes and models aren’t heroes, they’re celebrities.

Heroes abound in public schools, a fact that doesn’t make the news. There is no precedent for the level of violence, drugs, broken homes, child abuse, and crime in today’s America. Public education certainly didn’t create these problems but deals with them every single day.

You want heroes?

Consider Dave Sanders, the school teacher shot to death while trying to shield his students from two Neo-Nazi youth on a bombing and shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Sanders gave his life, along with 12 students, and there were also other less heralded heroes who survived the Colorado blood bath.

You want heroes?

Jane Smith, a Fayetteville, NC, teacher, was moved by the plight of one of her students, a boy dying for want of a kidney transplant. So this pretty white woman told the family of this handsome 14-year old black boy that she would give him one of her kidneys. And she did. When they subsequently appeared together hugging on the Today Show, Katie Couric was near tears.

You want heroes?

Doris Dillon dreamed all her life of being a teacher. She not only made it, she was one of those wondrous teachers who could bring the best out of every single child. One of her fellow teachers in San Jose, Calif., said “she could teach a rock to read.” Suddenly she was stricken with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which is always fatal, usually within five years. She asked to stay on the job-and did. When her voice was affected she communicated by computer. Did she go home? She is running two elementary school libraries. When the disease was diagnosed, she wrote the staff and all the families that she had one last lesson to teach– that dying is part of living. Her colleagues named her Teacher of the Year.

You want heroes?

Bob House, a teacher in Georgia, tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After he won the million dollars, a network film crew wanted to follow up to see how it had impacted his life. New cars? Big new house? Instead, they found both Bob House and his wife still teaching. They explained that it was what they had always wanted to do with their lives and that would not change. The community was both stunned and gratified.

You want heroes?

Last year the average public school teacher spent $468 of their own money for student necessities –work books, pencils– supplies kids had to have but could not afford. That’s a lot of money from the pockets of the most poorly paid teachers in the industrial world. Public schools don’t teach values? The critics are dead wrong. Public education provides more Sunday school teachers than any other profession. The average teacher works more hours in nine months than the average 40-hour employee does in a year.

You want heroes?

For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the only hug they will get that day because the nation is living through the worst parenting in history. Many have never been taken to church or synagogue in their lives. A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a stuffed animal on her desk — one that said “I love you!” He said he’d never been told that at home.

This is a constant in today’s society-some two million unwanted, unloved, abused children attending public schools, the only institution that takes them all in.

You want heroes?

Visit a special education class and watch the miracle of personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers are awed by the dedication they witness. There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says, “We have been so anxious to give our children what we didn’t have that we have neglected to give them what we did have.” What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want? Math, science, history and social studies are important, but children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Teachers provide upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible people.

~author unknown


Advice to new teachers

January Blog Challenge 6) What advice can you give a new teacher as to the priority or focus for energy as they begin their careers?

Don’t forget to make yourself and your well being a priority.  Don’t overextend yourself.  Don’t be afraid to say no to requests to serve on committees.  It takes a while to settle in and it can be extremely stressful so do what you need to do to be the best teacher you can be for your students, that means taking care of you!

15 Day Book Blogging Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: 15 Day Book Blogging Challenge

What Will She Read Next?

unnamedSo day 7, we’re almost halfway through.  Today we’re talking about our blogging quirks.  (Do we have any??)

Kel – I think my biggest quirk is that I tend to sit down and type up several posts at once and then schedule them to post later on.  It’s easier for me than writing every day or even every other day.  And honestly I tend to go back and edit them, add to them.  It gives me some freedom knowing that I don’t have to rack my brain to come up with something to post.

Amy – The hardest thing for me is finding the time to blog.  And to read.  I have a busy 4 year old, and when we started this blog she was 2 and finding the time to do anything but just survive was hard.  I’ve gotten better – and have followed Kel’s example of working ahead…

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The Remarkable Way A Teacher Brought a School Together (Video)

This has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen.

Topical Teaching

I love this video. It is not just about changing the common perception of school as a dreary, cold place, but a way of uniting a student population for a common purpose.


Click on the link to read Teachers Know How to be Generous

Click on the link to read I Just Love it When a Teacher Gets It

Click on the link to read The Teacher as Superhero

Click on the link to read I Wish All Principals Could Be Like This

Click on the link to read The 6 Most Inspiring Teachers of 2013

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15 Day Book Blogging Challenge: Day 6

playing catch up Day 4 of the 15 day Blogging Challenge

What Will She Read Next?

unnamedDay 6’s challenge is asking us to describe how we shop for books.

Kel – Um how don’t I shop for books LOL.  I wander the aisles of my favorite store V-Stock a used and new retail store that sells books, movies, video games, comics, and much more.  My friend Jen and I have literally spent hours there looking at books, of course we have also spent hours looking at books at the library. 🙂  What can I say we are bibliophiles.

Amy – I don’t really “shop” for books.  I can’t actually remember the last time I bought a book for myself.  I am library devotee!   I’m not really a browser either, especially now that I usually have a 4 year old in tow.  I have a few favorite authors that I always look out for, and mainly do my browsing online to see what’s new.  I do love…

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15 Day Book Blogging Challenge: Day 5

Way behind on reblogging these. Day 5 of the 15 Day book blog challenge

What Will She Read Next?

unnamedDay 5 is asking us to recommend a tear jerker:

Kel – Child Called It by Dave Pelzer.  It’s also a cringe book and a big time trigger book.  This is the story of Dave’s own childhood as an abused child, it is very hard to read but also very informative and moving.

Amy – The last book I read that made me cry was The Fault in Our Stars.  It’s not the only one that’s ever made me cry – but it’s soo good!!  I have yet to see the movie – though I plan to.  It is on my Netflix list, along with every good new release of the past year that I wasn’t able to see in the theater!

You’re among friends here, what book has made you cry?

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Should Teachers Be Allowed to Touch Students?

I have kids reach out to me for hugs or to hold my hand while we walk around at recess on a daily basis, it would break my heart to have to push them away. This post has an excellent article addressing the issue.

We Were Meant to be Teachers!

My heart just breaks when I think of all the children who are from really unhappy homes and came to my classroom and felt relaxed knowing that it was a safe environment for them.  Please read this article written in “The Atlantic” that gives sound reasons why we should be permitted to touch children in an appropriate manner, especially in an elementary school.  Apparently, neuroscience professors agree with us.  I especially like the suggested response to one child who said, “You can’t touch me!”  The benefits of a kind tap on a shoulder can do wonders to heal a broken child.


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