I enjoyed reading how the term "gate keepers" is a positive expression in publishing - not so in health care!
Still, I'd like to change it to Gate Openers ---who's with me?
When you’re 9 there’s not much you have control over – meals, bedtime, homework, the long walk to and from school. It actually feels like your life is a big long stretch of doing what you are told, no matter what. And kids of 9 carry a huge burden. They have the hugest imagination of anyone. They wonder about everything.
When I was 9, I wondered what it would be like to be a boy. I wished I could try it out for a few hours or a day. I wanted to talk to animals, really understand them. And I wanted to fly.
All of these dreams were realized when Mrs. Hawkins pulled her tall wooden stool to front of the class room, perched upon it and opened THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN by E.B. White.
She read and I became a boy (Sam Beaver). While Mrs. Hawkins words washed over me, I could talk to a swan named Louis. Not only talk with him, join him on his quest. And Louis’ quest is everyone’s quest – he had to find his voice (don’t we all?), discover the best way to show his love and he struggled to stay safe in a world that was often dangerous.
I don’t remember much about 4th grade. Did Mrs. Hawkins teach us long division? Did we make maps of the world? I bet we studied the Nile (we seemed to study it every year in elementary school). Honestly, I didn’t remember the name of my 4th grade teacher, so, last night I sent a text to an old friend.
She wrote: Mrs. Hawkins. Yeah, Louis the swan with the slate and the trumpet. I cried in class when she read it. (Thank you, C.S.!)
That’s something I remember. I cried too.
Mrs. Hawkins, I’m sorry for forgetting your name. And I’m sorry if I don’t remember the subjects we studied that year. But I know one thing for certain. Each day when you perched up on that tall stool and opened the book it was like you took the entire class in your arms, brought us to Canada and introduced us to Louis. Reading THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN aloud was the best lesson you could have taught.
It helped me to find my voice. And to find my way in the world.
Angela Cerrito decided at the age of 12 that she wanted to be a physical therapist. 12 years later she’d earned her master’s degree in physical therapy. She is a physical therapist working with infants, children and their parents and loves every second of it. She also writes for children. Her debut novel THE END OF THE LINE will be published by Holiday House in March.
Author Rick Walton is collecting stories about readign aloud; share yours here http://whyreadaloud.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/hello-world/#comment-37