Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Now I've Done It. Now I've Really Done It...

I've gone and fallen in love with a new idea!  Ugh, and all this on the eve of the Olympics.  

That's the thing about a great idea... you can't pretend you didn't think it.  You can't will the idea away, knowing if you just didn't think of it, that life would be so much simpler.  That's not the way it works.  A great idea will gnaw at you... reminders showing up in all the wrong places.  It's as though road signs, dreams, passing conversations, and newspapers conspire to wear you down - until finally a concession is made and implementation of that great idea is underway.  Phew... isn't creativity exhausting?

But first, a reminder...
10 Events; 10 Winners
4 Days to GO!
Virtual Highlowaha Dinner Party

Friday, August 8, 2008
8:00 p.m.
Eat Chinese food, watch the opening of the Olympic Games 
Be home for the unveiling of...

Teachers.  That's what I can't get off my mind.  Back to school is in full swing.  And yes, while aisle after aisle is filled with new school supplies (trust me, we'll spend a whole day on this topic alone), it is teachers I am most thinking about.  Maybe it's because as grown adults our entire schooling experience can be reduced to a list of  about 8 teachers names.  For me... Mrs. Mueller, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Arcidiacono, Mrs. Pincus, Mrs. Knowles, Ms. Jahoda, Mrs. Mitrou, Mr. Urbatis, and Ms. Boniello.  High school was much more hit or miss in terms of remembering names.

Maybe it's because my dad was a teacher and emblazoned in my memory is that proud feeling I got whenever I heard a student called him Professor Kamhi.  Maybe it's because I have two young boys who haven't even embarked on a single day of their formal schooling yet and I'm wondering... HOPING... that the teachers lucky enough to get to know my boys will realize the incredible amount of lasting impact they can have on a child's life.

Whatever the reason, I am feeling the incredible urge to honor teachers.  I hope you will join me.  

I'll try to be clear and I'll try to be fast, because I know all of you are busy.  I want to start a "Make Your Mark" campaign for teachers.  Below is the vision.  Feel free to print off the instructions and pass along to colleagues, friends, neighbors, or even your kids!

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3
  • Each of us... avid readers, lurkers, occasional visitor, friend of a reader, second cousin of a lurker spend a few minutes and THINK about a teacher who has positively impacted your life.  
  • Take 15-20 minutes to WRITE a thoughtful description of how/why the teacher positively impacted you. The more specific the more meaningful.  Be sure to include: (1) the teacher's name; (2) the school at which he/she taught; (3) your first name and age.
  • (If you would be so kind)... MAIL that excerpt to me with $5.00 (to pay for markers, mailing envelope, postage).  My mailing address is Claudia K. Beeny, 4012 Harvestwood Court, Grapevine, Texas, 76051.  
  • I, in turn, will attach your story to a package of Crayola markers and then mail it to a random teacher somewhere in the country (you will get to help generate the list of recipients).  If you already have the name of someone you think should receive one of these packages, include it on a separate piece of paper in the envelope you mail.
My goal is to mail 100 inspiring stories with 100 packages of markers to 100 unsuspecting teachers around the country.  Surprise me.  Make me go buy more markers!

Envelopes must be received by Friday, August 22

We can do this.  It's the right thing.  To honor the work of one great teacher, by presenting a piece of his or her legacy in writing, to another teacher is a meaningful way to express our deepest appreciation and admiration for the work they do.  

I want to leave you with plenty of time to compose your note, so I'm signing off until tomorrow...

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