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'Because of a teacher ...'

[Her students] will remember her forever, and she will change the world in ways that she cannot even fathom.

Charlie Perkins.png
Charlie Perkins.
Contributed
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What would life be like without teachers?

Right now, there’s a kindergarten teacher perusing the aisles of Target. Even though he still has two more weeks of summer break, he is already dreaming up ways to make his students feel welcome. His classroom will be a refuge. For a few kids, it will be the only place where they truly feel safe.

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There’s a language arts teacher who will take a week and give up her lunch period—those blessed 26 minutes to scarf down a meal—in order to help a student learn how to read.

There's a math teacher who will have a room full of kids who claim that they’re “just not good at math.” By the end of the year, his kids will be geeking out over ways to solve complex problems. They’ll see that math can be creative and even fun. And they will become problem-solvers.

There are history teachers who will inspire students to record history and a group of PE teachers who will encourage kids to get more active. There are technology teachers who will help kids send their work to the world and fine arts teachers who will help kids find their creative voices.

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And right now, there's a fouth-grade teacher with a scribbled-up yellow legal pad. She’s dreaming up wild new projects. And even though she jokes about not wanting to go back, she is secretly excited about meeting her new group of students. This is her 27th year and she’s still taking creative risks. To her, it’s no big deal. It’s what she does. But it’s a big deal to her students. To them, she is a hero.

This year, she will make her students' world epic, as she always does. They will remember her forever and she will change the world in ways that she cannot even fathom. And all of this will happen . . . Because of a teacher.

About Charlie Perkins

Charlie Perkins is an author, musician, photographer, and videographer based in Rochester. The Chicago-bred Perkins attended Northwestern University concentrating on Radio, TV Broadcasting, and Interpersonal Communications. He spent 29 years at Harris Bank in Chicago and taught “Principles of Corporate Television” Columbia College in the same city. He has also spent 17 years as Unit Manager, Media Support Services for the Mayo Clinic. In a previous life, he covered the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan’s championship run, ’96-‘98 as a freelance photographer.

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