Sixteen years ago, Steven Levy wrote a book entitled Starting from Scratch: One Classroom Builds Its Own Curriculum. His insights into the classroom are outstanding.
But also outstanding was his dedication of the book to "the unknown teachers across our land who go to work every day, hardly noticed, rarely appreciated, dedicating their lives to our children, our future."
One day while visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Levy imagined a similar monument dedicated to the unknown teacher and inscribed with the words of Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman (with the word children substituted for bondmen and women).
You ask for what you do not need when you call on me for a word of commendation. I need such words from you far more than you can need them from me...Most that I have done and suffered in the service of our cause has been in public, and I have received much encouragement every step of the way. You, on the other hand have labored in a private way. I have wrought in the day, you in the night. I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction of being approved by the multitude, while the most that you have done has been witnessed by a few trembling [children], whose heartfelt "God bless you" has been your only reward. The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witnesses of your devotion and your heroism.So, Levy said, he dedicated his book to the "unknown teachers who guide and inspire children on their way toward freedom. Let it give witnessing eyes to the midnight sky and applauding hands to the silent stars."
What more beautiful words could there be to honor those who labor behind the scenes--teachers, therapists, all those who have patiently joined us the last six years on the road to learning what we need to know. You have gone above and beyond your job requirements to see Wade and us as more than a label, more than a chromosomal deviation.
For this, and more, we thank you. God bless you, every one.
We are humbled by your gifts to our lives!