I am linking up with Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lilypad to share about one of my favorite teacher heroes. I have had the pleasure of working with many teacher heroes, but the one I simply must tell you about is a former co-worker named Bonnie Pettay. Bonnie is now retired, but she served as a middle school intervention specialist for many years! She is a little bit eccentric and a whole lot AWESOME.
If you just peeked in her room on any given day, you would have seen...
- Movie theater seats... because kids need a cozy spot to get lost in a book!
- Padded rolling chairs for every student that she paid to have reupholstered herself... because kids learn best when they are comfortable!
- Individualized water cups (with cute seasonal themes, of course) on every desk... because the brain learns best when its fully hydrated!
- Giant beach umbrellas... because they make any table more fun to sit at!
Bonnie was the kind of teacher I strive to be each and every day. Yes, she was a wealth of professional knowledge... but more than that, she just loved kids and teaching with every fiber of her being. To Bonnie, teaching came as naturally as breathing. She did everything she could to get kids to fall in love with reading. She took her entire class to the movie theater to watch The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe after reading it so they could engage in a comparison/contrast discussion. She hosted an after-school book club twice a week so kids could listen to audio versions of their favorite books, then discuss them with friends. She would laugh and say, "It's a good thing my husband loves golf as much as I love teaching!" because she was often the last car in the parking lot each night.
Bonnie always challenged us to be the best for our kids that we could be. She went above and beyond to lead our staff through professional development sessions about teaching for the whole brain... long before Whole Brain Teaching (which I love!) was a thing!
Not only was Bonnie an amazing teacher, but she was also a loyal friend to me during some really challenging years in my life. I will never forget how often she let me curl up on those movie chair seats and just let me pour my heart out to her. She was like a mom to me when I was so far away from my own, always ready with a steady supply of tissues or tootsie rolls... or both! Though many miles separate us and we haven't talked in years, I will always treasure her in my heart.
Thank you, Bonnie! You have touched my life in more ways than you know. And THANK YOU to ALL the teacher heroes in this world. You give of your time, resources, and energy so selflessly to bring the light of education into our children's lives. What you do MATTERS.
As a thank you, please enjoy this free download of an inspirational quote about teaching! :D