A Magical Teacher
A Letter of Hope from Diane Kerchner

I've read with tears all your tales of woe with classroom teachers and your kids. Now I want to share a success story with you to give you hope.

I've talked and dreamed about writing a paper (and getting it published) on the model classroom for a prenatally exposed child. Then I visited the classroom of a gentleman who teaches kids whose iqs are under 70. He is known throughout the district I teach in as the guru.

I walked in and saw the model I have been dreaming about, in live action. This man had all the children (elementary) working on legal sized pages covered with hand-drawn math problems. Each worked at his or her own speed.

He does exactly the same thing every day at the same time. His schedule never varies. Next, they do reading in three groups (he has 3 aides). I sat with he and 4 students round a half round table and heard each child read. When a child didn't read a sound correctly, he modeled the correct sound and then had them repeat it until they got it. His materials were wonderful. Each line of text had arrows showing the kids which way to read. Print was oversized. This man loves these kids. He even eats lunch with them. Every school year end, he invites them to his home for a pool party. He is every parent's dream teacher. He actually raises the kids IQs on testing; he's proven that to the district, and to the kids.

He is now my new mentor. I love this guy, and its all I can do not to cry when I'm there. I saw him yesterday at an inservice and told him that I will be coming to spend an entire day with him and that I will want to videotape him in action. He is so kind that he not only gave me permission, but said he would help me in any way he can.

I now know what I will include in my masters paper. Yes, I will do the research. But as for the model classroom? I have found it.

I wish we could all find such teachers and such classrooms for our kids.

There is a waiting list to get kids into his.

Much love, Diane

FAS Community Resource Center