He quoted some statistics that indicate a student is 1.25 percent more likely to go to college and 1.25 percent more likely not to get pregnant in high school if they have a great fourth grade teacher. While those are not huge numbers, they do represent individual students who did better because of the influence of one particular teacher. Those are students who have most likely grown up to be productive citizens and are not perpetuating an endless cycle of dropping out and either scrabbling for living or relying on government handouts for survival.
I remember that fourth grade was a pivotal year for most of my kids as they made their way through elementary school, and they did have a great teacher. She also happened to be a good friend and neighbor and to this day I thank her for being such a great influence on my kids, especially our oldest son.
David did not have a stellar academic career, in elementary school or high school, but it would have been much worse had he not had Ginger Liening as a teacher. He had a horrible time in third grade and was ready to run away from home and school both at the thought of another school year starting. Ginger, to her credit, didn't judge him on his past school experience or behavior. She encouraged him to start with a clean slate, so to speak, and I'm sure it was her mentoring that kept him from dropping out of school entirely.
So I agree with Kristof that school districts should find a way to keep those stellar teachers and weed out the weaker ones. Maybe then there would be a huge jump in the numbers of kids encouraged on to much better things.
Forever Young: Blessing or Curse
Fresh beginnings turn tragic when Dorrie Donato’s husband, Larry, is killed in a hit and run accident a few months after starting a new job at the Life is for Living Institute. Discouraged and desperate after suffering countless setbacks, Dorie accepts an offer by Larry’s boss, the famous Angel Man, to be the first to test an experimental pill designed to spin its user back to a desired age and hold there, yet still retain all previous memories. The pill seems too good to be true. Maybe it is.
Morgan Mandel is a former freelancer for the Daily Herald newspaper, prior president of Chicago-North RWA, prior Library Liaison for Midwest MWA, and belongs to Sisters in Crime and EPIC. She enjoys writing thrillers, mysteries, romances and also enjoys combining them. Her latest paranormal romantic thriller is Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, Book One of the Always Young Series, available on Kindle and Smashwords. Other novels by Morgan Mandel include the romantic suspense, Killer Career, the mystery, Two Wrongs, and the romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams. Morgan is now working on Book Two of the Always Young Series, called Blessing or Curse: A Forever Young Anthology, where readers will learn what happens to others who have taken the Forever Young pill. One more book will follow bringing back the original heroine to close out the series.