A Cup of Comfort for Teachers: Heartwarming stories of people who mentor, motivate, and inspire

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9781598696981: A Cup of Comfort for Teachers: Heartwarming stories of people who mentor, motivate, and inspire

"It's the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." —Albert Einstein

Every single day in countless classrooms all around the world, teachers inform young minds—and transform young lives. In this moving collection of true stories, you'll meet more than fifty remarkable people who've made a big difference in a struggling student's life—one hour, one lesson, one "good job!" at a time.

In today's challenging world, being a good teacher is harder than ever—and encouragement may sometimes be hard to come by. But this unforgettable celebration of the trials and triumphs of the world's toughest profession is sure to delight and inspire you. Whether you're a teacher on the front lines or a student grateful for the dedication, passion, and generosity of a favorite mentor, A Cup of Comfort for Teachers is just what the principal ordered.

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About the Author:

Colleen Sell has compiled twenty volumes of the Cup of Comfort book series. She has authored, ghostwritten, or edited more than a hundred books and published scores of magazine articles and essays. Colleen has served as editor-in-chief of two award-winning magazines, associate editor of a national business magazine, and home and garden columnist of a regional newsmagazine. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpt from "Because It Matters" by Greg Beatty

Mr. King gave us the first test, and being grade-driven honors students, we were anxious to see who had gotten the highest score. My friend, Paul Larick, grinned as Mr. King began. "Mr. Larick, you earned the highest grade on the test." Paul’s smile vanished as Mr. King continued. "You earned a D. . . . The rest of you earned a D-minus or below."

"But—" someone objected.

"That’s not fair!" someone else cried.

"You tested us on things we hadn’t studied," a third person tried.

I was too stunned to speak.

"The work you submitted," Mr. King said softly, "was not honors quality."

Mr. King was not unfair. He threw out all the grades for the first test. He was not unkind. He never discussed grades publicly again. He was not without a sense of humor. And he was not, finally, ever unclear about his standards, and that was a shock to us. We were so used to getting A’s as a matter of course that we tried every strategy in the book.

"You graded my paper down for grammar and spelling. This isn’t English class," one of us would whine.

Mr. King would say, "If you apply your skills only in the classes in which they are studied, what good are they?"

I remember trying a similar tactic. "What do you mean my thesis isn’t supported? Isn’t my idea original?"

Unblinking eyes gazed at me through a heavy pair of glasses. "Those two points are not, as I trust you know, related. Your idea is quite original. Daring, even. Now you need to support it."

Bitter, I tried again. "It would have been good enough in honors English."

"Well, it’s not good enough here." Mr. King spoke quietly, to keep the matter private.

My answer was louder, an attempt to enlist the entire class behind me. "Well, why isn’t it good enough?"

"Because the subject matter is important," he said. "Because it is desperately important for you to learn your country’s history—not just the names and dates, but the laws and the debates behind the laws, their economic implications, and what the period perspectives were. Because it is desperately important for all of you to be able to form a cogent, well-supported argument that you deliver in clear, grammatically correct prose."

I didn’t become a teacher until years later, and I didn’t realize how much Mr. King had influenced me until a student asked me a question late one semester.

"Why are we doing more work in this class than they’re doing in other freshmen English classes?"

"Because it matters," I said.

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