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Educators Share Their Stories in Honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week!
posted by: Garry | May 12, 2015, 12:50 AM   


"Years ago (1966) at Lanier Elementary in Munster, Indiana, I was blessed to have Mrs. Claussen as my 3rd grade teacher.  She was ​a new teacher and did many wonderful things that made learning fun, but the best were her Tasting Parties.  I learned to eat raw cauliflower and nectarines.  We had breakfast in school with little cereal boxes and cranberry juice.  But the best day of all was dessert day!  Mrs. Claussen had one rule: you must taste something (unless you were allergic) and if you didn't like it put the item in a napkin without comment and throw it away.  One of the treats that day was Angel food cake, and she went around the classroom giving each of us a slice.  When she got to Gordon MacArthur, the boy who was always in trouble, told her no thank you.  Mrs. Claussen was stunned because she couldn't think what was in Angel Food cake that Gordon was allergic to.  She asked why he said no thank you and he replied, "Everyone thinks I'm the devil.  I don't deserve this."  She bent down and looked him in the eye and said, "Not Today Gordon," and she cut him the biggest piece!  It is because of her compassion and grace that I strive to make every student I teach feel loved."


- Roxann Whitcombe


"I have a vast number of teachers who have impacted my life, but one in particular really may have saved my life. Roland Johnson, my head football coach and PE teacher at Kennett (Mo.) High School, served as a father figure for me day in and day out, while keeping me out of trouble by motivating me to perform above my potential. I did a lot of stupid stuff and ran with a lot of people doing worse, but he stayed on me from my freshman year on, showing me you could overcome your environment and circumstances to do great things. I'll always be indebted to Coach J."


- Mack Skelton



"My High School art students are drawing charcoal self-portraits. In addition to measuring facial proportions I've asked them to add something to the background from their favorite book. Far too many students have told me that they don't remember reading a book. That's right, they don't remember reading a book. I talked to the librarian and we are working together to help students remember the books they have read. Engaging self-portraits are emerging from charcoal toned paper and we are having conversations about The Life of Pi, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. A few students accepted the challenge to draw an emotion on their face that they experienced while reading the book. Tears, passivity and confusion are some of the expressions that are turning up. There is a sparkle in my student's eyes that I haven't seen before when they are drawing a self-portrait and talking about what they've been reading lately. I encourage them to include that glint of life in the eyes of their drawings."


- Blog Commenter


Did you miss your chance? It's not too late! Tell us your favorite teacher story in the comments below, or email us at and we may still share your story!


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