I am watching a lot of the video and MSNBC shows from OK right now. Chris Hayes says it all. Teachers rock!. We saw it in Newtown. Now here. Teachers doing things I think we'd all say were way above what they are paid for. But they just did it. That is so my experience. Rising to the occasion.
A happy, happy story below the fold.
Many years ago, when I was in second grade I had this terrible speech impediment. Kids mocked and made fun of me. It was painful. About my earliest memories. There was no speech therapist in my school. My teacher and another just spent their evenings reading every book they could find on the topic to help me.
She pulled me out of recess and after school, with the permission of my parents, worked with me daily. Hour upon hour. Taught me I needed to put my tongue on this part of my mouth in this way to say this or that. Well a lot of things.
Say "truck." Feel your tongue touch the top of your mouth. I had to be taught this. Now a reflex, but one of many things I had to "learn" to speak in a manner where I wasn't mocked.
I had maybe attempted to file this away and not think about it. But a few years ago I spoke to a large group of people. Around 3,000. Not the first time I'd spoken to a large group. After I spoke the organizer of the event called me, said in their daily surveys I ranked off the chart. Could I come back the next day and talk some more? Heck the best complement I ever got was after this talk, when a women came up to me and said "you are wicked smart." I had no idea talking about SEO and PPC ads was so interesting :).
Maybe it was that call. Or maybe cause I was alone in Vegas (I hate that city BTW). But I started to think about that teacher that didn't give up on me. That embraced and helped me. I, with the help of my mom, tracked her down. Found her sick and in her 80s. I thanked her. Told her she did something stunning. That I recalled what she did for me.
She/we cried when I showed her the video of me speaking. Commanding a room. I said "who would have ever thought this would have happened?" That people would pay to hear me talk.
Public school teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!