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MAY 6, 2014 IS AMERICA’S NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY.
TEACHERS HAVE ENORMOUS POWER OVER CHILDREN’S FUTURES
Today OneWorld takes time to salute outstanding educators everywhere. It is important for us –as a society—to recognize that teachers have an impact every day. That impact is critically important whether it is negative or positive; both affects are equally potent.
Teachers can deprive children of having dreams; they can deprive children of hope and they can kill potential. Their thoughtless, careless, callous or ill-informed words can totally devastate souls and wipe out futures. For these reasons we need more careful selection, and we need effective development and preparation for those who teach.
The GREAT NEWS IS: Teachers can and do inspire children to SOAR; they can help children to conceptualize dreams and pursue them; they can teach children how to mentally escape their oppressive environments and find refuge in books, in the dynamics of learning and in the prospect of a better future. Teachers can help children to become self-actualized academic STARS and exceptional human beings. Teachers matter at every phase of life, and they do not have to be in the classroom. However, the classroom teachers in a child’s formative years have enormous POWER over that child’s future and over the futures of all the children they teach. Selecting the right people to be teachers is extremely important. It should be a “Calling” a real “Vocation” not just a paycheck.
There are wonderful, highly impactful educators everywhere; we often take them for granted. On this special recognition day, OneWorld wishes to single out a few outstanding educators.
1. Ellen Elizabeth Clarke (born March 13, 1868) was a phenomenal teacher, role-model and exceptional human-being. Her classroom was the home. She taught me how to count and calculate; she taught me the alphabet and how to read, and to appreciate that reading is important and valuable to my life. It is through reading that I would learn history and the wisdom to be gained from knowledge of our past. She loved history. She taught me how to develop a core set of values that would form the rudder for my future existence. She taught me that as a human being I have inherent value, and that my value does not need the approval of others to be authenticated. No one has ever taught me a more salient lesson; it has been the bedrock of my existence throughout my life and particularly in these United States. My great-grandmother is still the most effective teacher I have ever had; her lessons have lasted all my life.
Today OneWorld Progressive Institute highlights the following outstanding educators in our broader community. We know that these are only a fraction of the dedicated and effective educators in our area; however, we are highlighting those with whom we have worked directly, and who we have experienced as committed, caring and effective. They go beyond the job description and they teach and lead with passion and care for their students.
2. IVY ALEXANDER, Professor of Nursing, UCONN (formerly at Yale)
3. ZAKIYYAH BAKER – Outstanding teacher in 2010; Assistant Principal, Hillhouse High School; as of Sept. 2014, she will be principal of special academy at Hillhouse)
4. KHALILAH BROWN-DEAN, Professor, Quinnipiac University (formerly of Yale)
5. ROSANNE FERRARO teaches English to 8th Graders at Bailey Middle School in West Haven.
6. KAREN GIBBS, (former principal, Brennan-Rogers School) New Haven
7. SHERYL HERSHONIK, principal, Worthington Hooker School, New Haven
8. RANDALL HORTON, poet and creative writer, teaches English at UNH
9. DON JOHNSON, teaches Social Studies, Grade 6, at North Haven Middle School.
10. WALTRINA MULLINS, teaches at Davis Street School, New Haven
11. ANGELA ONWUACHI-WILLIG, Professor, Yale Law School
12. GARFIELD PILLINER (Teacher of the year 2013) teaches at ESUMS
13. DONALD SAWYER, Sociologist, teaches at Quinnipiac University
14. LARRY STEIN, teaches Social Studies to 5th Graders at Ridge Hill School, Hamden.