Blogs About Reading

Sound It Out

Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Teaching This Teacher

April 17, 2007

My first year of teaching (sigh, moan, groan) included a single-wide trailer behind a "high-needs school," one ream of paper for my copies (that was replenished in December), and one truly fabulous colleague.

Alison had been teaching for six years when I started, and was a truly gifted teacher. Her classroom (a double-wide trailer) was everything I wanted mine to be – inviting, stimulating, and organized. Her classroom management was subtle, but effective. She held incredibly high expectations for her students, and they worked even harder to meet her goals.

Watching her teach was inspiring (if not a little depressing). She was generous with her students, but also with me – she co-planned with me, shared resources, provided advice, guidance, and more than a few tissues during some tough days.

I'm sure I would have made it through without her, but having Alison as a colleague surely made it a lot more bearable. I think of her every year during Teacher Appreciation Week. For kids' sake, I hope she is still teaching somewhere.

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated during the first full week in May, with Teacher Appreciation Day falling on Tuesday, May 8, 2007. Reading Rockets is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by inviting you to send in a description of a teacher who has made a difference in your life. When you nominate someone, you will be entered into a drawing to receive one of two great prizes – an iPod or a gift certificate to The Learning Store. But hurry! Entries are due by next Monday, April 23. Winners will be notified by May 8th.

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"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney