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Lesson Plans


Fwd: Messages-Inspiration for teachers

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MarshArt
Wed, 24 Jun 1998 20:28:43 EDT


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My daughter Shari fowarded thsi to me. I would like to share it with you. See
we DO make a difference!

Marsha

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From: SquitchBoy
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To: KanubaChic, sandsk, MarshArt, Steveg,
SCarr10461
Subject: Fwd: Messages
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 21:33:43 EDT
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From: AMISUEKIRK
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To: CalQL8dRsk, yeaklel, BRICK4141,
ginobrien, SquitchBoy, BluEyedSue
Subject: Fwd: Messages
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 22:18:03 EDT
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From: Ijgalloway
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Cc: AMISUEKIRK, FDavis5029, JuWalla
Subject: Fwd: Messages
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 12:24:50 EDT
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From: Katzie
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To: Pedeeq, Fairvo, RudyThomas, Bobnkat818,
Aa565, MAM321, Suzyq124, Dragonlady50,
RSA281, DHandy9884, Ltpbj02, Ijgalloway,
BMarsh9503
Subject: Messages
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 08:53:24 EDT
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<< A teacher's dream.

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School
in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund
was One in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that
happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional
mischieviousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that
talking: without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so
much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him
for misbehaving "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know
what to Make of it At first, but before long I became accustomed to
hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too
often, and: then I made a novice-teacher's mistake. I looked at him and
said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"
It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking
again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but
since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act
on it.
I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to
my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of
masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore
off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I
then returned to the Front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how
he was doing he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The
class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape and
shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for correcting
me, Sister."
The end of the year I was asked to teach junior-high math. The
years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He
was more Handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen
carefully to my instructions in the "new math," he did not talk as much
in ninth grade as he had in the third.

One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a
new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning,
frustrated with themselves - and edgy with one another. I had to stop
this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the
names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving
a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest
thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.
>: It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment,
and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers.
Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister.. Have a
good weekend."
>
>: That Saturday I took a piece of paper, and I listed what everyone
else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his
or her list.
>: Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard
whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know
others liked me so much!"
>:
>: No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if
they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't
matter.
The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with
themselves and one another again.
>:
That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I
returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were
driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip - the
weather, my experiences in general. There was a light lull in the
conversation. Mother gave Dad a side-ways glance and simply says,
"Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something
important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I
said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is."

Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The
Funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend."
To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told
me about Mark.
I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark
looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was,
Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would
talk to me.

The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The
Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the
funeral?
It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual
prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark
took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water.
>:
I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the
soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's
math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the
coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's
farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously
waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said,
taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was
killed. We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook
paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I
knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed
all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.
"Thank you so much for doing that" Mark's mother said. "As you can
see, Mark treasured it."
>:
Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather
sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of
my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put this in our
wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her
wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry
this with me at All times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I
think we all saved our lists."
That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for
All his friends who would never see him again.
>: THE END
written by: Sister Helen P. Mrosia

The purpose of this letter, is to encourage everyone to compliment the
People you love and care about. We often tend to forget the importance
of showing our affections and love. Sometimes the smallest of things,
could mean the most to another. I am asking you, to please send this
letter around And spread the message and encouragement, to express your
love and caring by complimenting and being open with communication. The
density of people In society, is so thick, that we forget that life will
end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please,
I beg of you, to tell the people you love and care for, that they are
special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
>:
>: I leave these messages with you and ask you to continue to spread
the message To everyone you know. >> >>

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