THANKYOU Mrs Taylor, wherever you are now, for sitting me on your knee on my very first day of school when I got upset because I mixed up the paints. It will amaze you to know that I still remember you.

THANKYOU ‘Basher’ Briggs. You knew more about Shakespeare than his own mother and gave me a lifelong love of writing and drama. You don’t remember me? I was the one at the back throwing spitballs at Kevin Forge and getting forgettable grades. But I remember you.

THANKYOU ‘Jed’ Clamp, for picking me for the football team probably against your better judgment. I was crap, wasn’t I? But it was all I lived for at the time and I would have been crushed if you’d dropped me.

I wasn’t happy when you made me read my story in front of the whole class. I seem to remember trying to hide under the desk but that A+ grade made me think I actually had a talent for something. Look what you started.

THANKYOU Mrs ‘Snow’ White who stayed at the primary school every night until after dark getting lessons ready for the kids the next day. Thank you for giving Jess her Best Readers Award in her first year at primary school. She still has the book she won as the prize. She is now majoring in Literature and Creative Writing.

THANKYOU Mr John d’Abreu for listening to the cares and concerns of my wife and I in our daughters third primary year when she was so sad and listless. She was a changed girl by the time she left your class.

THANK YOU MOST OF ALL for whatever good fortune smiles on me that my kids came home every night from school and had the chance to live their lives to the fullest and that I had the chance to watch them grow into wonderful people. I see now that I took this for granted instead of being duly grateful.

There are no words I can think of as solace to the parents in Sandy Hook who do not have my good fortune. But I would like at least in this short post to honour the teachers who did everything to protect their young people in the face of this horror, and the six who gave their lives doing it.

The teachers were:

Rachel Davino

Anne Marie Murphy

Dawn Hocksprung

Mary Sherlach

Lauren Russeau

Victoria Soto

by Colin Falconer

About colinfalconer

author of bestselling historical novels like Anastasia, When We Were Gods, Aztec and Harem. My books have been published in the UK, US and ANZ and translated into seventeen languages.
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15 Responses to TEACHERS

  1. ritaroberts says:

    What a wonderful way to thank your teachers Colin. Lovely post. Maybe others will follow suite as its such a good idea.

    • Along with nurses, I think teachers are the most valuable and least lauded members of our society. Along with all their other attributes combat courage shouldn’t need to be part of their CV but apparently it is these days.

  2. Thank you. From a teacher.

    • Seems to me we have a strange society – the ones who contribute least often get paid the most. Teachers will always be one of our most precious assets. Let’s pray for no more Sandy Hooks.

  3. Tami Clayton says:

    Love this. Teachers all over the world need to hear this sort of thanks more often. Thank you for putting yours out there.

    • I agree. They don’t hear it nearly often enough. I have a very good friend who’s a teacher – and a very, very good one. She seems to have no idea of what her legacy will be in a lot of young lives. And I’ve run writing workshops with kids – just one day and I’m exhausted. It’s hard work.

  4. Sue Mauriello says:

    Thank you Colin. As a faithful reader of your books and blog I am especially grateful for your thoughts and words regarding teachers and especially for those in Sandy Hook. I am in the town neighboring Sandy Hook and I can not begin to tell you how it has affected everyone in this area. Thank you for your sentiment.

  5. Pingback: Dona eis requiem « Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

  6. violafury says:

    Thank you Colin, for thanking your teachers, or docents, as they were once referred to. This sorrow is just unremitting. Today as I was getting readying a post in my blog, it came from ABC news that there is no link between Asperger syndrome and violence. Gee, I am so relieved as I have that. What we have all neatly sidestepped here is the heart of the matter; guns and mental illness. Yes, we have mentally ill people, of which I am one and lots and lots of guns which no one wants to do anything about, apparently. Sometimes, these things just won’t be borne, and yet, why do the littlest and weakest and most innocent in our society pay? My President needs to address this and fix it. We need no more Sandy Hooks. Now, you can see why Violas get Furious.

    • I agree Viola that our attitudes to guns and to how we treat and support mental illness needs a cathartic change. There’s a great post that Elizabeth Mitchell linked to via Myndi Shafer and I’ll talk about that briefly today. Reading about the gunman’s behavior the last couple of weeks – he was, literally, a disaster waiting to happen. But there was and is nothing in place to red flag it. It wasn’t that he was mentally ill – he was dangerously ill, and that’s a whole different thing. Is the death of 20 innocent children and six brave teachers enough to bring about change? You’d have to hope so.

  7. Debra Kristi says:

    This is beautiful, so very touching. It’s a lovely way to honor all teachers. Thank you, Colin.

  8. Love this response to the tragedy. TY for sharing your gratitude & reminding us to do the same.

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