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all in the presentation

april-2009-0751

I’ve never felt so hip at a second grade event.

We’ve been hearing about Mr. T’s poetry night for weeks.  Mr. T is KN’s cool student teacher:  a gentle giant with big hair, big hands, and a big heart for kids.  We’d received at least three kid-scrawled invitations:  a command performance for the family, and I have to admit, some of us weren’t super excited.    At least there would be food.

The dinner exceeded my expectations.  Mr. T and his parents(!)  prepared delicious homemade lasagna.  In class, the children frosted cupcakes (okay, those were just what I expected) and studied fractions while they cut the fruit salad.   While the guests enjoyed dinner, Mr. T. whisked the kids away to prepare for the poetry reading. 

When they were ready, Mr. T invited us into the classroom “the K-T lounge“.   Slow jazz infused the air.  Battery-powered candles and tasty finger foods graced the cloth-covered tables.  A cozy lamp, bar stool and microphone invited poets to the front stage.

Clearly this was going to be something special.

In the lamplight, those precious children moved us.  They made us laugh, cry, and hold our breath as they worked to get out the words.  Every child in this class of diverse abilities and resources excelled that night.  Their families swelled with pride, and so did the kids.

Mr. T., with support from his amazing mentor, Mrs. K., went far beyond the call of duty that night.  He set high expectations, created a special mood, involved the whole community, and made memories that will last a lifetime.  

Most importantly, he instilled a passion for poetry in twenty-something second graders.

I offer thanks to Mr. T, Mrs. K, and teachers who go far beyond expectations to make a difference.  May they inspire a passion for teaching and life long learning in the next generation.

Check out more inspiring tributes over here:

Tuesday's Tribute

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