Passing the Book

Laura Kvasnosky’s recent (10/19/11) post on her encouraging teacher jumpstarted memories of my favorite writing teacher, Mrs. Cheadle. She was young and full of zest and, unlike my practical mother, wore bright colors and shoes that matched her outfits. Her second grade classroom was a thrilling place, full of poems she read aloud, stories we acted out, and opportunities to create our own pieces. The gift she gave her students was the example of her own excitement over words and learning.
Do you ever wish that you could thank someone whose presence profoundly touched and changed you? Even if that person may have disappeared from your life long ago? About eight years ago, I finally had a chance to thank Mrs. Cheadle. By that time, she had a different name, profession, and home county but, when we got together, I immediately recognized her voice and enthusiastic spirit.
And Kathi Appelt’s post (10/17/11) on making a list of favorite books started me thinking not just about making such a list myself but of ways to thank the authors of those books. I might write or email. I might give one of their books as a gift or make a donation in their name to a library or literacy organization. We are all informed, inspired, and encouraged by a vast wordy web that includes so many others. What author or teacher might you wish to thank–and how?

–Mary Quattlebaum

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1 Comment

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One response to “Passing the Book

  1. Thanks for this, Mary. I'd only add that if you want to reach out to someone from your past who's influenced you, don't wait! I once tried to thank a former teacher, only to find she was no longer available to thank. She'd died just before I contacted her…I've often wished I'd acted on that good impulse sooner.

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