Today I’m in New York, slicing day 28 with Two Writing Teachers.
I left Los Angeles yesterday. Problems, worries, exhaustion, questions came with me on the plane. Can I do this?
I land in New York, 12:40 am, greeted with texts from my classroom. Can I do this?
Saturday I find myself in church with Patricia Polacco.
She spoke of her struggles as a reader. How the words moved and why she felt stupid. How she firmly believes a teacher saved her because he saw her. He didn’t know what to do, but he knew someone could help her. How he found a way to help her learn to read. How when you think you can’t you must.
I don’t know exactly what he did. But when I got the aha moment I saw it.
For you (reading) is elementary, but I had just climbed Mount Everest.
My life had changed.
George Felker had pulled me out of the darkness.
None of those books would have existed if (he) hadn’t helped me.
You changed my life.
To this day when I think I can’t face something, George Felker’s hand is on the center of my back
I’m crying. I’ve been crying. On my flight here. In my bed last night.
We kids, we mean to thank you.
You give us the wind and we fly.
I believe you do it routinely.
If you feel like leaving. You need to stay.
You are offering light. Always remember that no matter how tough it gets.
Let me thank you no matter how tough it gets.
I leave Riverside Church with my teacher soul filled. Words spoken by a master storyteller and passionate human being.