Yesterday afternoon it was a pleasure to visit Dawn Licata and her 2nd grade class at David Harrison Elementary School. Dawn is one of the teachers around the country who volunteered to introduce students to classroom activities suggested in the book I’m co-writing with Mary Jo Fresch.
I’m SO pleased to have a Springfield school represented in the book and naturally I’m especially delighted that it will be someone from Harrison Elementary. While I was there Dawn showed me some of the work that her kids have done. I loved it.
I read for a while to Dawn’s students and answered questions. As I was leaving, one boy handed me a letter he had written and illustrated just for me. He thanked me for all the “great books (I) have made to the world” and concluded that I “should be in history.” I liked the first part and appreciated the spirit of the second, but honestly I don’t feel quite ready to be history.
Tonight in Springfield is the annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet. I don’t know what the attendance will be but it’s generally in the 850-1,000 range. It was my idea, twenty-three years ago, to have a banquet each year to remind teachers how much they are appreciated, provide the community with an opportunity to meet and celebrate their teachers, and demonstrate to students that teachers are highly respected. I helped run the banquet for the first seven years. Nancy Graff, her staff, and I formed the core team and we reached out to as many others as we needed. I haven’t played a role for a long time but I almost never miss the event. I even have a special tie that I only wear once a year to the Teachers Appreciation Banquet.
Each year at the banquet a teacher of the year is announced from among five finalists. For many years I used to sit on the committee that interviewed all nominees and selected the five finalists. Tonight one of the five finalists for Teacher of the Year teaches at David Harrison Elementary School so I have an extra incentive to be there! Way to go, Kevin Zimmerman!
I attended the annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet Monday night and had the distinct privilege of sitting at a table of David Harrison Elementary teachers. It was a lovely evening and we all behaved with proper decorum at all times.
When I went to visit The Living Museum on Monday at David Harrison Elementary School, here is one of the students who read about me, wrote a script, memorized it, and performed it flawlessly when I touched the “activation” sticker on his hand. His name is Brendin. His hair was brushed and he wore a nice dress shirt and tie. I was impressed! I don’t have pictures of the other two students who chose me so I’m sorry not to introduce them too. For now, though, and with thanks to his teacher Scotty Kujath, here is Brendin!
I received this note from Roxie McQuarry, 4th grade teacher at David Harrison Elementary School: “One of my students has chosen you as his Famous Missourian (for the school’s Living Museum Event at 9:00 this morning). He will dress up as you and give a speech as if he is you. It’s a neat presentation.”
Rounding to the nearest nanosecond, how long do you think it took me to accept Roxie’s invitation? And now I understand that Julee Curry’s class may have a David Harrison in it, too. I’m on my way! I’ll let you know later how it went. But I’m already smiling!
P.S. I don’t know what to wear.