Friday, March 12, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul~Teacher Tales!

My mom was a teacher for many, many years. I grew up with the yearly late summer tradition of helping my mother prepare her classroom. Stapling up bright, cheery bulletin boards, filling wallpaper covered juice cans with fresh pointed crayons and thick blue and red primary pencils. I fell in love with the purpose and organization of it all and the smell of tempera paint and crayon wax. Perhaps this is why I also became a teacher. The thought of reigning over my own classroom domain, the world in miniature. A world in which I was the protector and keeper, the one moulding young minds and spirits into the future!

Alright, this was obviously a rose coloured, optimistic view of the hard core world teaching truly is and has become. Teaching is one of the most challenging occupations. Other jobs are challenging but when you hold the balance of young lives in your hands you come to realize the enormity of your responsibility and it can be daunting.

Admittedly, teaching was meant to be a transition for me. I knew that teaching was not my true calling and that one day I would move on to other things but regardless I took my role seriously and gained even further respect for those whose true calling teaching has been. Ever teacher has a story to tell. Some are stories of heartache punctuated by the feeling of failure or helplessness, some are joyous, silly, and heartwarming, but the most fantastic of stories are those inspiring stories of triumph and difference making. These stories no matter how seemingly trivial to others which make teaching rewarding and aspire others to continue the fight to fill young lives with a tangible future whether academic or just plain productive and happy!

Chicken Soup for the Soul once again collects the inspirational and heartwarming tales of others, this time in a collection of teaching stories which include those from all the 2009 State teachers of the year. Chicken Soup for the Soul~Teacher Tales had me balled-up alternately with tears and laughter.

Those of you who have read my blog from it's inception know I taught in the Canadian Arctic for many years. To give you an indication of what that would be like I guess I could describe it as an inner-city school without the city. While inner-city kids juggle the two worlds of school with its academic expectations and city neighbourhoods with their hard core street code, arctic kids are also caught between the academic world of school and the culture of traditional land life and the social problems often encountered in their homes. It was the stories of children with uncertain lives or rather bleak looking futures which hit me the hardest. Hearing the stories of teachers making a difference through most often the simplest acts of caring are by far the most touching.

Chicken Soup for the Soul~Teacher Tales is filled with the uplifting, the funny, the sad, and the exceptional experiences teachers do not forget! You will never forget some of these tales either. From the touching story of a second grade teacher helping a student write to her father at war overseas in "Letters from Home" to the hysterical error of a first year social studies teacher whose lesson on Paris, France accidental became a sex-ed class involving footage of topless-dancers in "ooh La La!" this anthology of teaching experiences is truly a perfect gift for your child's teacher at the end of this school year!

Thanks to Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing 3 Northern Mama readers will win a copy of this fabulous collection of inspirational stories from great teachers and appreciative students!
To Enter:

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US and Canadian residents only. Giveaway closes March 27th, 2010. Please read Giveaway Rules for further details.

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