2018-05-01 / BookBag

A Passion to Teach

Paula Bannon | Schlow Centre Region Library

As we creep toward the end of the school year, I find myself thinking about the wonderful teachers who work hard to teach our community’s children. My co-workers and I are fortunate to meet many of these teachers during our annual visit to the State College area elementary schools to talk about Schlow’s Summer Reading Program. Their support of our program encourages kids to participate throughout the summer, continuing to better their reading skills and avoid losing knowledge that they’ve gained during the school year. Did you have a particular teacher that really inspired you to work harder or go the extra mile? Check out some of my favorite books about teachers, both in school and out.

• Ms. Bixby is one of the good ones — that teacher who makes you feel like your days at school have purpose. So when she announces unexpectedly that she won’t be able to finish out the school year, three of her students are very disappointed. Topher, Brand and Steve all have different reasons for loving their teacher — from saving Topher’s art in a special file to helping Brand get groceries while his dad is sick — and they join together on their quest to bring a very special farewell party to her. Read Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson to follow their adventure.

• For kids who sometimes struggle with seeing their teacher as a human being, try Peter Brown’s fabulous picture book My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not). Bobby thinks he has the worst teacher. She yells at him for throwing a paper airplane, she’s loud, and she won’t let him go to recess. So when Bobby goes to his favorite place in the park to cool down, the last person he wants to see there is his teacher. But as time goes on, Bobby starts to see his monster of a teacher turn into something that he least expected.

• Sometimes teachers can learn things from their students, too. In Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, the main character, Jade, lives in a tough neighborhood but manages to get a scholarship to a prestigious private school on the other side of town. She works hard and dreams of being nominated to go on the school’s overseas mission trip. Instead, she finds herself nominated for the Women to Women program that pairs her with a mentor to support her. Follow Jade as she discovers that she, too, has wisdom and ideas to share with her mentor and teachers in this 2018 Newbery Honor Book by the 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award winner. •SCM

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