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Challenge: Extraordinary Teachers

My Mother, One Person, Educator to Many

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This "special" teacher is my mother! She is special to so many in so many ways. My mother has spent her career teaching in an urban suburb of Philadelphia for 34 years. During this time, she impacted her students academic, social, and personal lives. In an area where there is a great need for nurturing of the child's physical and emotional needs. She was there! By creating the "Cherry Dancers", students were appreciated for their talents. She saw that music "moved" them. This positive feeling of self worth spilled into the classroom where her students excelled in math and reading as a result. She volunteered to stay after school year after year to keep this successful unpaid program going.

After she moved elementary schools, she earned a reading specialist certificatation, library media certification, and adopted ME.

Yes, my mother touched the lives of many and as a single mom had a place in her heart for another. Me!

On her own, she flew to China and brought me home. We have a wonderful life together.

I am sixteen and my mother has retired but has not stopped teaching. She currently works as a substitute teacher in my high school. The students stop me in the hallway to compliment my mom to me. The other day, I heard two girls talking about her. One said my mom offered her a "life lesson" in class the previous day when she was feeling down. Another classmate informed her I was her daughter, she said I was so lucky. The girl who is a junior and I am a sophomore. She did not point out our ethnicity difference. All she saw was her kindness and caring.

After 39 years as an educator, my mother has shared her skills with many using various techniques to help her students have a better experience. She put their talents to music and the students performed as a group at the school and sometimes other schools in the district. This gave the students an unmeasurable amount of positive reinforcement that they are capable. These high risk students have grown to be adults. They stop us in the store and tell me how my mother inspired them to become teachers, pharmacists, business owners and more. They take a picture and post with pride.

She also has been a big part of my education. I strive to be in the medical field or education; maybe a science professor! She is encouraging and always available to assist me giving me guidance along the way. Although she is busy taking the role and duties of both parents, she never complains and is greatful that I am in her life.

In conclusion, touching the lives of others in school AND at home through education, altruism, with love and the child in mind makes my mom an educator who has affected the lives and future path of so many.

To me, she IS the world, to others she has changed their world!

Nya C

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