Wisconsin Teachers Rock!

Jack’s weekly guest blog

I love singing and telling stories in schools, something I haven’t done in a fairly long time. This week Wendy and I are in Appleton, Wisconsin doing school and library appearances as part of The Fox Cities Book Festival.

DSCN0174Back when we lived in Scotland I used to do quite a bit of song-writing sessions with kids in the upper classes of primary schools, and got a tremendous kick out of working with that age group. The equivalent over here is grade 4 or 5 in elementary schools. It’s my favorite age group because they still have enormous curiosity and enthusiasm, and haven’t yet glimpsed the approaching diversions of the teenage years.

During this week we sang songs with them and told stories, and then fielded a host of wildly different questions – “How many cats do you have? Do you wear a skirt in Scotland? Is a loch something you find on a door? Have you seen the Loch Ness Monster? How many books are in your shop? Etc, Etc – – –

It’s become obvious to us why Wisconsin schools have such a high reputation! The ones we visited were bright and cheerful, with enthusiastic and engaged teachers, artwork adorning the walls, kids controlled and respectful while also cheerful and inquisitive.

And yet, this is the state where “collective bargaining” for teachers turned into AWOL senators, people taking the doors off the Capital’s central chambers, and names hurled with more fury than accuracy on all sides. It might puzzle some people why teachers so maligned in those days remain committed to their profession. Seeing them in action this week, we can say without a doubt that their first allegiance is to the children. God Bless the teachers of Wisconsin! (And the rest of the world, come to it.)

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4 Comments

Filed under Hunger Games, Life reflections, publishing, reading, small town USA, Uncategorized, writing

4 responses to “Wisconsin Teachers Rock!

  1. Kathy Selvage

    This is great Jack. Children learn the most who have the best teachers. Described are teachers who care and are committed though their state legislature had neither of those attributes.

  2. Donna Chapman

    As a life long teacher….I know your visit was a huge blessing to all!

  3. Richard Davis

    Hi guys! Hope you’re enjoying Appleton, where I went to college at Lawrence — stop by if you get the chance, it’s a great school and full of music, drama, literature, and art — and did my student teaching at Appleton West HS. Thanks for your comments on Wisconsin’s schools and teachers– growing up in La Crosse (on the Mississippi, about 3 hours drive to the west from where you are) and going to college in Appleton, I was always surrounded by great teachers and positive environments. Thanks for noticing!

    Rick

    ************************** Rick Davis Executive Director, Hylton Performing Arts Center Associate Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts Professor of Theater George Mason University 703-993-9657

    HyltonCenter.org cvpa.gmu.edu theater.gmu.edu ________________________________

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