Posted on 10/11/2008 by debrennersmith
Dr. Phil says you have life defining moments. I can’t remember if he said there were 5 or 7, but I have been thinking about some of mine.
1. When I was nine days old I had meningitis.
I survived and thrived in spite of it due to miracles and my parents’ belief in me. I learned to read & write. I even became an author, a teacher, a public speaker… all against the odds. I believe this is because my parents’ never doubted that I could do anything I wanted. I was provided with the best education opportunities. I was given lots of parental support and the belief that I could do and be anything I wanted to be.
2. Not getting the dream teaching job in the dream district ended up a blessing.
I was given the opportunity and freedom to make lots of wise-instructional decisions in my classroom. The district and school I worked in believed that teachers were smart and wise and capable. We were provided with lots of professional development.
3. Freedom to make decisions in the classroom.
This freedom in my classroom allowed me to implement Four Blocks and meet Pat Cunningham and Dottie Hall. They visited my classroom while I taught. They included me in their Four Blocks leadership conferences. I presented with them at the International Reading Association for numerous years. This lead to my opportunity of being published with Carson Dellosa.
4. Pat Cunningham
Meeting Pat Cunningham allowed me to publish with Pearson, Allyn and Bacon. My book, Beyond Retelling, has opened many doors for me through presentations and workshops. The comprehension strategy, Thinking Theme, leads to deep comprehension thinking that many students find helpful as they read.
Meeting my husband at a young age. We have provided a stable environment for our children. We have raised them in the same, small home town that we were raised, near my parents. As our children prepare to enter college, we reflect on the conservative values of small town living.
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