Friday, February 23, 2007

Hug a Teacher

I was reading a little blurb about the influence teachers can have on their students, and the importance of acknowledging their efforts, so in an effort to follow that advice, I have to say that I couldn't imagine a better teacher than Lou Bean. She introduced me to To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and opened my eyes to creative writing. I will never forget the day that one of her students was sleeping during class. She had been discussing the definition of the word "tangible" and when she asked him what it meant, he obviously couldn't tell her. Rather than getting mad, she picked up a tangerine from her desk, threw it at him, and said, "It's like a tangerine! It means 'touchable.' Get it? 'tangible, tangerine, touchable." She reached out to individual students like no other teacher I have ever known, and I just have to say, "THANK YOU!"

Here is a little blurb from the Deseret News from 2004:

English teacher Mary Louise "Lou" Bean shapes students into readers, writers and creators.
Bean once encouraged a student who loved sketching cars to write Ford Motor Co. about becoming a designer. That student since had his $550,000 concept motorcycle appear in the Nieman-Marcus Christmas book, Viewmont High colleague Debbie Jones wrote in a nomination letter.
Bean, who regularly attends writing workshops, has writing circles in class to help students discover their talents. One student even won a national PTA Reflection contest for her essay about her deceased father.
Bean picks out novels for individual students, hooking struggling readers on books. One now reads 700-page books for pleasure; another went on to become a physician.
"The sparkling enthusiasm of Lou Bean boosted the self-esteem of my children," wrote parent Debra E. Randall. "She let them know she believed in them and that they could succeed."

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