Sunday, January 15, 2017

Is there one teacher you can't forget?

As shared on the Web of Good News, noted author Brad Meltzer's life was changed forever by his ninth grade teacher, Ms. Shelia Spicer. "You can write," she told him, and tried to transfer him to honors English, but schedules prevented this. So she told him to ignore what she taught the other kids and do honors work in her class. She made him love Shakespeare, and even read the words of Romeo aloud while a girl he had a crush on read Juliet. Now fast forward 10 years. Meltzer's first book has just been published. He went back to her classroom and she didn't recognize him without his hair. "My name is Brad Meltzer," he said, handing her a copy of the book, "and I wrote this for you." She started crying. She'd been considering early retirement because she felt she wasn't having enough impact on her students. Brad changed her mind.

                                                                                                  Brad Meltzer
She finally did retire, 13 years later. Brad went to her farewell party. When it was her turn to say a few words, she told the faculty, "For those of you complaining that kids have changed and it's harder to teach these days, you're getting old. You're getting lazy. These kids haven't changed. You have. Do not give up on these kids!" Brad says the other teachers cheered and "I was ready to apply for a teaching certificate." He knew he'd always be her student, and what about the girl who read the part of Juliet? She's his wife now.  He owes Ms. Spicer for that, too.

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