"And a HUSH fell over the crowd... and ALL EYES were on Mrs. Sweick... and Mrs. Sweick said..." That was how my tenth grade English teacher regained control of the class. When everyone was bustling into class after a pep rally, or yammering on about some project, or maybe class had been disrupted by an announcement over the P.A. When a room full of 15 year olds was turning into a bit of a circus, Mrs. Sweick would slowly... deliberately... dramatically start in with "And a HUSH..." And that was it. Our ruckus was all over.
We were drawn in and back to the work at hand.
I don't know how it was that Ellen (she let us call her Ellen) was able to control us and get us to do our work when so many other teachers with many of the same students could not. It wasn't the curriculum so much as it was how she got us excited about it. She didn't use props. She didn't give us stickers or candy. She was just Ellen. She wasn't sticky sweet, either. She commanded our attention. When we were in her room, we were THERE.
So what did Ellen do to be one of the most beloved teachers in our school?
She created an environment of mutual respect. She commanded our respect, but gave us hers in return. She honored our work, and so we honored hers. She talked to us in the hallways between class. She sat with us at football games. She laughed at our silliness and hugged us when we were crying.
She made our days better.
This week, teachers all across the country are being honored for their work and being given a hand at the same time. Office Max and Adopt a Classroom have teamed up once again to help erase teacher funded classrooms through A Day Made Better.
On October 5th, they surprised 1,000 teachers with big orange boxes of school supplies, a donation totalling $1 Million!
Now's your chance to reward a teacher. I don't have $1,000 to give, but I do have $100 and that's a start.
Leave a comment nominating a teacher that you know and why you would like him or her to receive a $100 gift card from Office Max and A Day Made Better. Winner will be chosen this Sunday, October 10th.
Good Luck... and go hug a teacher!!
PS: Thanks, Ellen.