I wish that all children had an opportunity to learn some form of music. It is so good for the soul and I honestly believe it helps them to be able to learn other things as well more easily. If every child in every culture, every nation, had music from such an early age, do you think we might have a more peaceful world?
The Learning Tree Classroom Door Decoration by Anne Copeland
In my lifetime, I have come across two teachers who have been the best teachers I have ever known. The first one I knew as a young teenager, struggling through being a shy person, and one with very little to inspire me at school.
She was a young teacher, very pretty and she drove a red convertible Corvette. We all loved her. She would bring photos and newspaper clippings and jazz music to the classroom, and we would all write about it. She taught us so many things just by all the things she was introducing to us.
After one of our writing assignments was being handed back to us with our grades, when she got to me, she whispered in my ear, “You are going to be a great writer.” My heart soared and my paper had an A on it. I went home smiling in my heart, and the first chance I got to have money to pay for it, I got some business cards that said my name and address with “Writer” on it. How clearly and easily I had made that decision.
Years later, I ran into an old classmate from that class and I told her about how great that teacher was. And then she told me that the teacher had told all of the young people in the class including my friend the same thing. What a lasting legacy she left with all of us. I wish I could ever find her again to thank her.
I have another more recent friend I met in an online correspondence course, The Silent Eye Mystery School, a fantastic class that involves Archaeology (one of my degrees), History, Philosophy, Psychology, Science and Spirituality. Three wonderful people founded and run the course: Steve Tanham, Sue Vincent, and Stuart France. We have been traveling via posts all over England studying all the great ruins, the churches, the castles and the amazing forts. All three of them have written lots of fantastic books.
In one of the posts online, I met a lovely lady named Jennie, and she is one of the most dedicated preschool teachers I have ever known. https://jenniefitzkee.com/author/jlfatgcs/ is her writing, and her blog is called “A Teacher’s Reflections.”
Jennie writes: “I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, The Read-Aloud Handbook because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.”
I would like to give each of these women some sort of certificate of honor if I could. I have worked in the school districts myself, and I appreciate a truly incredible teacher as these two women have been. Thank you both for helping to make a positive difference in young lives.
Photo courtesy Pexels.
I learned this little really interesting lesson many years ago from my amazing friend, Spencer Heath MacCallum.
Every time you purchase a pencil, do you know how many people you are employing? Start with the wood of the pencil. There have to be loggers who cut the wood, and then truckers who haul it to some factory. Then there are the factory workers who form the wood for the pencil into its familiar shape.
Then there are those who paint the outsides of the pencils, and those who imprint it with the type of lead (the size, and perhaps the brand name, etc.). Then there is the little metal piece that holds the rubber eraser. OK, it is some kind of metal that (likely tin) that has to be mined and then processed, perhaps through many processes to make that holder. Then it too goes via trucks or perhaps trains to a factory where it is shaped and formed into the piece that will hold the eraser onto the pencil. And then there is the machinery that performs all those magical tasks, and the people who run those machines. And of course there is the rubber.
It is growing in the forests in some country where it then is gathered as a liquid, and again, it is processed, and then dyed, as I think rubber in its natural state would not be pink (or other contemporary eraser colors), and it is formed and shaped into those little erasers. Then there is the lead, and again, lead must be mined, carried to trucks or trains (as are all of these parts) where it is then taken to be processed for formed into the lead that becomes the innermost part of the pencil.
And then all of this must be assembled. Now a great part of the process might be to do these things automatically via machines, but then someone had to make the machines, and someone had to maintain them, and someone else has to run them. And of course there are the quality control people. And then the packaging people. And then the people who take the orders and know where the pencils will go. And then the pencils are loaded onto trucks and delivered to the places. Of course, people have to build these trucks and they have to be maintained, and they have to have gas and oil.
Once delivered, the stocking people have to note them into the inventory, and then they get put onto the shelves, where the sales people might just help you to find them, and even if not, you will take them to the cash register to pay for them, so this is the end step that I can think of in the life of the pencil.
Doesn’t this make you feel good to know how many people you are helping to keep employed every time you buy that simple little pencil? All of this for less than $1.00.