Book Titles For Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank a Teacher!

May 5, 2020

Book Titles: Teacher Appreciation Week: Image: a teacher teaching a group of students as they siit on the jungle floor

Thank You, Teachers!

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During U.S. Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m here to wholeheartedly thank teachers for their dedication, skills, and caring as well as to highlight a few books that feature teachers or the educational setting that have touched my heart.

Who was your most memorable teacher?

Mine is a college math teacher. When I returned to school as an adult to finish my degree and obtain my masters and teacher certification, one class I dreaded registering for was math. I developed a terrible math phobia in high school. I didn’t care about math like I cared about literature and grammar and diagramming and French…anything with words. As I started caring less and less about math, it became more difficult for me. Even though I finished my first two years of college right after high school, I avoided taking math classes. When I returned to higher education as a midlife adult to finish my undergrad coursework and obtain a teaching credential, I was faced with my old nemesis: the math hurdle. Of course, my prior grades and placement tests in math revealed that I had many gaps to fill and so I was required to take remedial math to build my skills. I was petrified. Not only did I have a math phobia, but now I had to take college-level math! Yikes! However, what I lack in math skills I make up for in perseverance and determination. So on the first day of college math class, I forced myself to sit in the front row. The teacher, knowing that the reason all of us were in the class was because we lacked foundational skills, informed us of the following: You CAN and WILL be successful if you follow these rules: 1. take detailed notes on every lesson even if you don’t understand it, 2. do your math homework every night and refer to the notes, and then do the homework over again without the notes, 3. before every test, redo all the homework and do the extra set of problems in the back of the book, and 4. be an active participant in class (sit close to the front, take notes, and ask questions). This sounded doable to me and I decided to TRUST the teacher and follow her guidelines for success. I loved her teaching style and the safe affect she created in the classroom. She explained everything in clear steps and didn’t assume we knew anything, plus she used different colored markers for each step (which really helped me as a visual learner). I did my part, too, and worked for hours every night on my math homework like it was my job! I ended up earning an A in the class and my self-confidence skyrocketed! As I often told my fifth-grade students when I was teaching, “Nothings makes you feel smarter than understanding math!”  Although I loved the entire fifth-grade curriculum, I always enjoyed teaching math because I KNEW how those struggling students felt, and I was determined to model my teaching after my favorite teacher as I created a safe environment for learning. Go figure that math is one of my favorite subjects to teach (well….not beyond fifth grade!) One of the BEST notes I ever received from a student said, “Thank you for being my teacher this year….now I’m not afraid of math anymore!” I melted into a puddle!

Thank you to ALL teachers who are proving safe learning environments and structuring opportunities for success for all students. You are celebrated, valued, and revered!

Do you have a favorite teacher story?

Have you thanked a teacher this week?

Teaching is a Work of Heart (image: apple plus text)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Teachers and/or Education Related Stories

(the titles are linked to my reviews or to Amazon)

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (cover)

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman (image: text written over a collage of bright colors)

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (school librarian)
(Goodreads Review)

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (cover) Image: bright flowers and the edge of a gold ferris wheel bordering a bright blue background

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The Book of Lost Friends: A Review

March 27, 2020

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (cover)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Post Civil War South, Women’s Fiction

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Searching for family…

“Lost Friends” advertisements appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War as freed slaves desperately tried to find loved ones who had been sold off. In 1875, three young girls from Louisiana set off on a perilous journey to Texas. Two of the girls are financially desperate and in search of their inheritance and the third is looking for her long lost family and helping others do the same. The present-day timeline takes place in Lousiana in 1987 as a young and inexperienced teacher lands her first job in a poor, rural community. Over the course of the year, she discovers the story of the three girls from 1875 and their connection to her current students.

My Thoughts:

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The Secret of Clouds: A Review

June 21, 2019

For the love of teaching, middle-grade literature, and poignant stories…..

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

The Secret of Clouds Review

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Yuri, a sixth grader, has a life-threatening heart condition likely caused by his mother’s exposure to radiation in the Cherynobol incident in the Ukraine, SSR. Because of his poor health and fear of infection, he cannot attend school. Maggie, a compassionate, creative, and innovative teacher, agrees to tutor him in his home twice a week. This is the story of the connection they form and what they learn from each other. The story also explores Yuri’s parents’ early life and background.

My Thoughts:

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