Updated: Jun 11, 2021
All of us had that one teacher in school who we remember and hold close. They are often the teachers who taught us as much, if not more about life, as their subject.
Mine was Mrs.C, a wonderful bubbly lady who signed my autograph book, “May god continue to bless you and your little efforts.” Those words stayed with me always...rather guiltily, guiding me to do my best always. I repeat this maxim to my kids, ‘do your best always. YOUR best. So long as you know that you did your best, nothing matters. Who cares if you were first or last….you know that it was truly your effort and if there are others better than you, accept that. Accept that sometimes our best may not be what the world judges as best. I think of Mrs. C often. And I did, when I read this book. . Mr. Terupt is a new 5th grade teacher at Snow Hill High. His unconventional teaching methods and his grip on the pulse of his class, makes him truly special. Narrated by 7 students from his class, who take the story forward by narrating the incidents, reactions, feelings, and the impact of Mr. Terupt on each of them. * Peter is the class clown who doesn’t like school or teachers, spends excessive amounts of time in the washroom sometimes scaring younger children. * Jessica a new student has moved from California with her mother, post a split between her parents. * Luke is the class genius who loved the ‘dollar word’ game Mr. Terupt introduced, so much, that he uses dollar words throughout his narration. * Alexia is the class bully, the prima-donna, who has everyone doing what she says…but also has a troubled upbringing. * Jeffrey who thinks he is stupid, so hates school, but also carries a huge guilt complex. * Danielle who bullied by Alexia because she’s overweight, deeply believes in the power of prayer. * Anna is the shy child who is never seen and never heard, and who’s mother is unusually young.
Mr. Terupt uses project based learning which engages most of his students, drawing in even those who are usually disinterested. In his class there might be an explosion, but then you will find the most unassuming student who manages to figure out just the right combination to make an effective fertilizer. Out on the football field, you may find his students counting blades of grass, in order to learn how to estimate the number in the entire football field. Peeking into the Collaborative Classroom, you may find his students working special needs students, helping them to go beyond what they see, to dive below the surface, as they make new friends there. He believes that his students will best learn from their mistakes, and gives them the space and freedom to do so. Aware of the class dynamics and on the ball with individual needs, he manages to interact with each of his students in such a way, that it effects change.
But when one of his encouraging ‘treats’ for his class…a day playing out in the snow, goes awry, it is wonderful to see just how he touched each of his students and colleagues, bringing them together.
Keep that box of tissues near as this one will clear out those sinuses!! Gosh…..I went through a load!!
Inspiring for both educators and students, this one is a treat!! 9+ and to every educator who hopes to be inspired!