Teachers Rock! by Todd Parr
Teachers are just like you and me.
They eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub, they brush their teeth with bubblegum-flavored toothpaste, they let their pets sleep in their beds, and they go shopping for new underwear.
Where would the world be without them? I know I would not be the person I am today, or be able to read, write, or spell, if not for the teachers I was lucky enough to learn from as a kid. (I know what you are thinking – I still make a lot of mistakes. We all do!)
I did not like school. I loved most of my teachers, but I did not like going to school. I struggled with reading and math, and I had difficulty paying attention. It wasn’t until I was twenty-something that I heard terms like ADHD and ADD. “THAT’S IT!” I said to myself. “That’s me!” I was all of those things and more.
I was a visual learner. I don’t think anyone realized that, except for my grandma. She read to me every night we were together. It was Go Dog Go and Green Eggs and Ham, over and over again. And she didn’t just read to me – she engaged me in the process. She asked whether my favorite color was on the page or what I thought a particular dog’s name was. Once, we made real green eggs and ham.
I’ll never forget Miss Dona, my second second-grade teacher (yes, I had to repeat the second grade). She helped me learn to read. She challenged me to stand up in front of the class and speak. She taught me how to tell my left hand from my right. She took my marbles (the kind you played with and traded) so I wouldn’t get distracted. She even taught me how to make butter.
Most importantly, Miss Dona taught me about kindness and helping others. She told us about a former student, a little girl whose home situation did not help her maintain good personal hygiene. Miss Dona brought this student into her own home, so the girl could bathe and put on clean clothes. She helped this little girl learn to smile again, and left us with a lesson about compassion that would stick with us our whole lives.
Teachers don’t just help us learn. They make us better human beings, and nothing makes them happier than to see us succeed. Don’t forget to thank them every day.
Todd Parr has inspired and empowered children around the world with his bold images and positive messages. He is the bestselling author of more than forty books, including The Goodbye Book, The Family Book, The I Love You Book, and It’s Okay to be Different. He lives in Berkeley, California. You can visit him online at toddparr.com.