Posted on the Squeetus Blog April 09, 2006 02:55 PM PST.
I was in 4th grade when I first decided I wanted to be a writer. Mrs. Spackman was my teacher, and she encouraged us to think creatively and to write for fun. We did poetry, wrote short stories. I went crazy with the loveliness of writing and started four books that year.
Ever since my childhood fantasy actually came true (I still sometimes can't believe it), I've been dying to find Mrs. Spackman and thank her. She retired the year after I had her, so it was a daunting task. I wasn't even sure if she was still with us. When I bumped into my first grade teacher, she was able to get me her address, so I happily wrote a letter and sent her a couple of my books. Then the other day my doorbell rang, and I opened it to a brilliantly lovely, white-haired woman. Here she was!
I had her pose with the goose girl painting because she was one of those who inspired me to write it, and also because the color of her sweater looked so nice (both points very important). She was a wonderful teacher for thirty years. I asked her, somewhat dreading the answer, "Have you received many thank you letters from former students?"
"Besides yours," she said, "I've had one."
Poor teachers! How do they even put up with us? We're so ungrateful for their hard work, and we certainly don't compensate them financially. With that in mind (*ahem*) let me give another little plug to the Reading Teacher Award. I've had an embarrassingly small number of entries. Read the article about it in the last issue of the Squeeter Pig, and note that I'm pushing back the deadline with the hope of getting more entries.
And thank you, teachers, for being so patient with us! We really do love you!