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February 12, 2010


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Joan Chandler

The Nettlehorst School was the only public school in Chicago to March in the 2009 Gay Parade. I wrote to the principal to congratulate her on her leadership.
Joan Chandler


It was my piano teacher. With very British sentimentalities, she could swell her breast in such righteous indignation over my grubby fingernails that she appeared to me like a ship in full sail.

How proper she was! And how very distinctly she prounounced my name. And what lovely purple eyeshadow she wore to match her ancestral amythest ring!

I had more one-on-one time with Mrs. Josephine Karen over the years than I did with my own parents.

And when I visit the little Canadian town of my childhood, her house is one of the first stops I am always sure to make.

Andrea Kirsh

The Stories I have told about the negative affects of jaded teachers in a broke NYC in the 1970's in the rough neighborhood of my elementary school years lead me to fully appreciate my 6th grade language arts teacher. I had moved the end of 5th grade to a better neighborhood,with horse stables at the end of my block and a school district a couple of years into the the intermediate school approach (another way to to phrase JR High from 6-8 grades). Mr. Dalesandro loved to word his lessons with a kitschy aim. When it was time to leave the dreaded lesson of sentence diagraming and preposotional phrases. I believe I can stil recite all 91. It was on to poetry to wit his aim was: "A drop of beauty in the buckets of our minds". I recognized this was not a good example of poetic license. Even still I was so enamoured with a chance to express my angst in lyrical fashion and smitten with his blue green eyes. He definetly worked hard that year mostly accomidating all of my extra credit and pleas to recite my poems to a very bored and confused class.

Some one had given a part of who a was a name and direction a place to practice being a poet. I fell deeply in love with Mr. Howard Delsandro that year and still have a Polaroid of us in front of his class room door taped to the inside cover of my first journal of poetry.

Marguerite Horberg

Mrs. Linderman was the bomb. First she re-arranged all the desks in a U shape and had the "smart" kids sit next to the "dummies" - tracking was a big deal and the mostly jewish kids from east of broadway were prized over the other side of the tracks... years later it was poetic justice to have to work "under" one of the dummies I 'tutored" back in the day. We also had mock trials and I was the star prosecutor. My sin akin to your balloon toss- was grafitting the walls with chalk and I remember having to spend a good two days washing down the entire exterior of the school. My best Nettlehorst story tho, is about the creepy Vice Principal Perra- his son was arrested for putting LSD in the water filtration system of the city. A big scandal then, remember Agnew ? well today, he'd be labeled a domestic terrorist- then a plain ol' garden variety yippie -


I love these stories. Makes me feel there is a whole other blog inside this idea. My Old Teacher. Or The Unbearable 6th Grade Teacher Who Inspired Me and Got Me Through This Mixed Up Crazy World!

Elsita :)

Maestra Margarita Sanchez, my fourth grade teacher was THE ONE in my life. She was rather quiet and shy but she had a gift: being subtle. She knew how to get deep into your mind and heart by saying and doing the right thing at the right time. She didn't give us lectures, she just understood and knew her students, one by one, because she loved children so much. I still remember and love her.
Elsi :)


This is a beautiful post about a brilliant woman.

My fourth grade teacher in Amsterdam, Juffrouw Overboom, made me feel like the smartest girl in the school. She also loved my handwriting (we wrote with a dip pen and ink from the inkwell in our desk - please no snickering at my age) and used to say that my papers looked like small paintings. I'm sure she gave me the confidence to study calligraphy.


I wish I'd thought of this when our class of nine year olds ordered 6 pizzas delivered to the school on some poor daddy's credit card.

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