• JoAnne Saldanha

A Bookish Tribute to Teachers Everywhere

5 September, 2020


A special day. A special post. A post for all the teachers...and I mean teachers.

Many Whatsapp forwards tell me that as a mother, I’m my child’s first teacher. Sure I am. But let’s not take away from all the wonderful teachers who have made this their profession. This is not a high paying profession, but it is a choice that stems from love. Love for learning, love for teaching, love for facilitating. So, sorry parents...this is TEACHERS DAY. Let’s leave this one day in the year to teachers, they deserve so much more.


This year, many teachers have had to stretch themselves, learn new skills, develop new lesson plans, work beyond school hours, just to keep all our children learning. They are doing their best and working their hardest and have gone above and beyond.


So here is my little tribute to teachers everywhere. Some of my favourite teachers from children’s books.


1. WHY-WHY GIRL by Mahasweta Devi

“ Don’t be lazy. Ask me questions. Ask me why mosquitoes should be destroyed, why the pole star is always in the north sky” - Moyna the Why-Why Girl who grows up to become a teacher.


2. THE DOT by Peter H. Reynolds

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you... Now sign it” The teacher in The Dot


3. Ms Stacey from ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

“Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...well with no mistakes in it yet.”


4. MR. LINCOLN’S WAY by Patricia Polacco

“Well, God made all of them! All kinds! Just like he made all of us, Eugene. Fact is, all of you children here - with all of your cool differences - are my little birds. Yes, my little birds. And that should be your answer as to what is right or wrong in what your father said.” - Mr. Lincoln


5. MR. WAYNE’S MASTERPIECE by Patricia Polacco

“Patricia, let the play take you.” - Mr. Wayne


6. THANK YOU, MR. FALKER by Patricia Polacco

“[Honey is sweet] and so is knowledge, but knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey, you have to chase it through the pages of a book.”


7. BECAUSE OF MR. TERUPT by Rob Buyea

“‘Yes, it’s going to be difficult, but I know we can do it,’ Mr. Terupt said, ‘Besides, if everything we did were easy, then you wouldn’t learn anything. We need to be challenged in order to learn.’”

8. Remus Lupin in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS

“It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.” - Remus Lupin


9. Albus Dumbledore in HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”


10. Browne from WONDER by RJ PALACIO

“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” -Mr. Browne


11. Mrs. Granger from FRINDLE by Andrew Clements

“This is a brand new dictionary I recommend that my students use for their homework and now when I teach them how new words are added to the dictionary, I tell each and every one of them to look up the word ‘frindle’.” - Mrs Granger ( in a note to her student who thought she was against him...he realises then that she had his back, all along.)


12. Mr. Daniels from FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

“Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its able to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”



I could go on and on about all the teachers who inspire me from children's books...although I quote from just a dozen, here are a few more:

Miss Honey for being a loving and wise teacher Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus for her creativity and spontaneity Miss Chew from The Art of Miss Chew for being a tireless supporter.

Savita Teacher from Nabiya Favio Chavez is Ada’s Volin Luis Soriano from Biblioburro The Teacher from Nasreen's Secret School (all for going above and beyond)

Komal Ma’am in Gappu Can’t Dance


As Auggie Pullman says in RJ Palacio’s Wonder...

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

So here’s a STANDING OVATION for all my teachers, the ones who inspired my children and the ones I work with.


#teachersday #teachersinchildrensliterature #tributetoteachers #tribute #mythaunty

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