Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Teacher Who Changed My Life

Today, May 4th, is National Teacher Appreciation Day. National Teacher Appreciation Week is being celebrated all week, May 3-7, to honor teachers and to recognize the lasting contributions they make to our lives. Most of us can think of at least one or more teachers who inspired us to reach for our dreams.

In his memoir "The Teacher Who Changed My Life," Nicholas Gage explains how teacher Marjorie Hurd changed his life. He describes coming to New York in 1949 as a nine-year-old immigrant and tells of the challenges of learning in a new school in a new language.

“The person who set the course of my life in the new land I entered as a young war refugee—who, in fact, nearly dragged me onto the path that would bring all the blessings I’ve received in America—was a salty-tongued, no-nonsense schoolteacher named Marjorie Hurd.”

Gage credits Hurd with helping him understand English and with becoming his mentor and muse. Hurd encouraged Gage to write about what happenend too his family in Greece. His experience in her newpaper club set him on the course of a writing career. You can read Gage’s complete memoir in Mirrors & Windows: Connecting with Literature, Level IV.

Take the time this week to find a way to say thank you to the teachers who make such a difference in all of our lives.

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." --William A. Ward

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