The reason why...

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Boisterous. I would attribute that to the red hair and freckles. She was the antithesis of the stereotypical flat, static, less-than-intellectual teacher. Val, she'd let us call her (as sixth graders, we were taken aback with that privilege. As administrators, they were offended at her unprofessional approaches). She'd croon, gallop around the room, listen without the inclination to provide the adult perspective that we as twelve-year-olds didn't necessarily hold fondly or want to hear at all. Or need. 

We sang practically everything. And this 30-year-old woman can still recall the three positions of a wave, the requirements for sound to be formed and received, and a handful of songs in foreign languages. 

I kept photos, snippets of paper with lyrics, notes she'd written me. 

Valerie Newman was the reason I became a teacher. She's why my kids love me. Why I invest so much emotionally and physically into making their day in my classroom memorable and she's why I make myself irreplaceable in their lives. 

Thanks, Val. 

You. Are the reason why.

Created: May 10, 2017


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