Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Aren’t teacher appreciation days when you receive a stack of homemade thank-you cards from your students the best? On Saturday night when I came home tired and bleary-eyed from my drive back from Myrtle Beach and SCMSA, I found a large white envelope in the mail. My exhaustion turned to excitement when I read the stack of colorful thank-you notes from the Holy Family University students who I had taught two weeks ago. I knew I had enjoyed my first opportunity to teach graduate education students about writing fiction in the classroom and thought that my audience did too, but these cards took away any remaining doubt. Ann Fedum wrote inside this card: “Dear Carol, I took a lot away from your workshop. I hope I can get students excited about fictional writing like you do. Thank you for sharing your insights of writing.”

I know April Fox was pleased because she wrote, “Your presentation was very helpful. The real-life examples were wonderful and will be engaging to the students. It was engaging to me and I went home and told my husband all about it!”

Mary Beth Dillon gushed, “It was great working with groups and brainstorming…illustrates the fun and the difficulty that students must feel too!”

Not to be out done, Jameson Atkinson wrote, “Thank you for taking the time to come and speak to us. It was very informative and I really enjoyed working in groups to do the writing. The book is proving to be very helpful and useful.”

I hope I’ll see Karen Grant again since she wrote, “Thank you for coming to Holy Family University to share your insight and expertise in writing instruction. I especially enjoyed the piece you did on character development! I hope to attend another one of your workshops in the future- maybe in my district!”

But, I have to admit that my favorite came from Ben Workman who drew this on his card and wrote: “Thank you for bringing Pompeii out of me.” He is an 8th grade social studies & science teacher’s aide for learning disabled students and that day had watched a film on Pompeii. In our class he had written the following description of a setting:

“The stench of the fuller filled the air as the hustle and bustle of Pompeii carried on its usual activities. The earth tremored quietly all morning. Items tumbled from rudimentary shelves and the people grew uneasy. The people felt the gods were angry. A great pressure was building under the mountain as the volcano roared to life. Suddenly, a giant explosion shattered the quietness of the day. The day turned to night instantly.”

That kind of writing makes a teacher VERY happy.

Here I am with Katherine Ruppell, Learning Resource Center Coordinator; Lori Schwabenbauer, Library Director, Holy Family University; and Dr. Lynn Orlando, Professor of Education.

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1 comment:

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