Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Views: World's Greatest Teacher

Brad Meltzer
Published September 30, 2012
The Parade Magazine:Views

A best-selling author goes back to his high school to thank the person who first encouraged him to write.

The teacher who changed my life didn’t do it by encouraging her students to stand on their desks, like John Keating in Dead Poets Society. Or by toting a baseball bat through the halls, like Principal Clark in Lean on Me. She did it in a much simpler way: by telling me I was good at something.

When I met Ms. Shelia Spicer, I was in the ninth grade and had just moved to Florida from Brooklyn. Most of my teachers at Highland Oaks Junior High seemed to look past me; I was one more student among hundreds. Ms. Spicer, however, took a special interest.

“You can write,” she said, explaining that she wanted to move me into the honors English class. But because of scheduling conflicts, transferring wasn’t an option. So instead, Ms. Spicer told me to ignore everything she wrote on the blackboard for the rest of the year. “Ignore the discussions. Ignore the assignments. You’re going to sit here and do the honors work.”

A decade later, when my first novel was published, I went back to Ms. Spicer’s classroom and knocked on the door. “Can I help you?” she asked, trying to place me. I’d had a lot more hair the last time we saw each other. “My name is Brad Meltzer,” I said, handing her a copy of my book. “And I wrote this for you.”

Read more HERE.

1 comment:

LegalBeaglette said...

Ms. Spicer obviously understood the concept of "differentiation." Good for her.

“For those of you complaining that kids have changed, and that it’s harder to teach these days, you’re getting old. You’re getting lazy. These kids haven’t changed. You have! Do. Not. Give. Up. On. These. Kids!” ~ Sheila Spicer