I'm speaking on Friday to Washoe County School teachers who are on their way back to work after the summer. The event is called "Fresh Start" and I'm starting them off! I'm more than a little nervous about filling an hour with my thoughts on starting fresh, teaching eager and not so eager students. I do remember the nightmares I had before every year that I taught. They always centered around being totally unprepared - missing the school bus, wearing entirely the wrong thing, having no lesson plans, not remembering how to speak. And then there was the stomach ache that did not stop until I met my class. Then it all went away and I was teaching again.
With no particular topic to speak to but "inspire and share something fun - we love authors" I wracked my brain for what to say. I've not taught everyday for many years, so although I still spend a lot of time with kids and teachers, I wouldn't want to take "teaching" as my topic. So I'm talking about Those Aha Moments, about stories, changing lives, connecting with kids. That's what I do and that's what they do. In preparing for this talk, I've had the great joy of remembering teachers, books, and moments that changed me, and of recalling a few looks on children's faces when I knew something had changed for them.
We have an ongoing list of books that changed you. What about teachers? Is there a teacher who changed your life? Your year? Share the story before Friday and it may make it into my speech. (credited of course.) Share it anyway. It's good to remember the people who shaped our lives. Cheers.