I could thank you for so many things: the work you do with students, your cheery, inspiring disposition, your support and enthusiasm for books and for local authors. And I am grateful for all of those things, and more! But today I want to thank you for your bathtub -- the one you keep in the library at Goldsmith-Schiffman Elementary School.
See, my teacher, Mrs. Fattig, at Padgett Elementary in Lakeland, Florida, had a bathtub in her classroom. (Her husband was a plumber.) For a book-loving gal it was a dream. It was was also a comfort: I had just been double-promoted from a very unhappy few weeks in 2nd Grade to a trial in 3rd Grade. I was lonely and scared. And there was Mrs. Fattig's bathtub.
I spent as much time in that bathtub as possible. Once, when we had to learn the fifty states, I sat in the bathtub to recite them. I memorized them geographically, starting with Florida, and worked my way across the nation.
Unfortunately, I missed a few states. (Note to students: this in NOT the best way to learn states, apparently. Everyone else in my class learned them alphabetically and didn't miss Hawaii and Alaska the way I did. I blame my left-handed/right-brained-ness.) But thanks to Mrs. Fattig, I soon felt at home in her classroom, and the trial became a permanent arrangement. All because of a teacher and her reading bathtub.
And you, Leeann Childers, give that experience to students every day. Thank you for inviting me to your school -- and into your bathtub. :)
p.s. if any readers know what happened to Mrs. Fattig, or where she is now, I would love to reconnect with her!