Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Those Aha Moments

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.


Vaquerogirl said...

Oh those AHA! moments! Of course I've had them too! I'm having one now- oh wait- that was something else... ahem! Anyway- I had a teacher- Mr. McNeely- an English teacher( aren't they always?)and he was a 'real hip cat' at least he thought so. I did too actually. He was the first one (in Freshman English) to make me think about what the content and the sub content was in anything that I read. And as a voracious reader I had never thought of subtext before- or allagory or subcontious imagery... WOW! It was like he opened a door! He started by using popular songs ( Bridge over Troubled Water comes to mind)and going through poetry and then the curriculum course books- I wanted to just leap and shout! I fell in love with Mr McNeely... he fell in love with another student... but that is another story for another time. ANYway- I saw him 25 years later going into the same coffee house I was going into and I stopped him and introduced myself- he remembered me! I told him I was a writer and he just glowed. Maybe it was the sausage- but I choose to believe he was pleased. SO AHA!
BTW- I LOVE the cover of Bullrider!!! COOL!

Troy-Michelle Reinhardt said...

By the way - Happy Birthday yesterday!