“I’m Glad I’m There, Too!”

Sometimes the best teachers are not in the classroom. Here is proof. Steve is a crossing guard in New York and makes connections with students in remarkable ways. He calls it quizzes, fun facts and brain teasers- but it is so much more. He is engaging students, waking up their minds. When they leave his crossing, they don’t forget. His presense and curious questions simply ‘stick’, because they’re good and because he is the real deal. Steve, thank you for being such a remarkable teacher. Few make a difference, and you are one.


Morning light dusts away the darkness. Young students make their way to the school crossing post.  It’s tranquil but for the quiet conversations among friends and the humming of local traffic that announces the start of a new work day.  Some still have sleepy eyes, others are hurriedly finishing an abbreviated breakfast.  The calm is about to change.

“Good morning!”

My long distance call even catches the attention of drivers.

Eyes pop with a mild show of enthusiasm and attention.  Some eagerly anticipate what’s next, a few roll their eyes, no doubt.  They know it’s another morning of quizzes, fun facts, brain teasers or historical notes.  Maybe a quick grammar question, or an observation about the beautiful sunrise greeting us in the east.  Yes, knowing directions is a topic for discussion.  All this before they even step into their buildings.

I’m a school crossing guard, one of a dozen in…

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About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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20 Responses to “I’m Glad I’m There, Too!”

  1. Opher says:

    I think I’ve read this before. Remarkable!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Opher. I posted a story on Steve last year. Pavarotti was one of his terrific questions to students. I wish I was a student at his crossing!

  2. L. Marie says:

    Wonderful post to feature, Jennie!

  3. Wonderful reread Jennie! I’m going to have up my after school question game!

  4. beetleypete says:

    I got some of them correct! 🙂
    Great to hear he makes so much more of his job. Another inspiring character to admire.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Way to go, Pete. Steve’s challenges aren’t easy…and yet the students love it. I wish I could be a student at his crossing. Yes, he is an inspiring character to admire. Best to you.

  5. He gets an A+ wouldn’t you say, teacher?

  6. srbottch says:

    Thank you so much, Jennie. You inspire me to do what I do. 😉

    • Jennie says:

      Well, if that doesn’t make my day/year/life! Really. Pretty powerful stuff to think that all the remarkable things you do that have changed lives for children, might have had a spark from me. That’s overwhelming and wonderful. Thank you, Steve.

  7. Norah says:

    It’s lovely to be reminded of Steve. What an amazing contribution he is making to our collective future. Thank you, Jennie and Steve.

  8. Darlene says:

    Steve is amazing. The kids at his crossing are so lucky.

  9. dolphinwrite says:

    It’s so true. We learn through a variety of means and people, and those who have experience, wisdom, and understand have so much to offer. As one who has taught through a variety of opportunities, coaching being a great medium, I have found thoughtful deliberation and listening to be great teachers. In college, the second time around, I realized that every class helped every other class, that the jobs, interests, and hobbies supported what I was learning in class. Dozens of hours a week the first go around. In the second, I rarely studied more than an hour a week, yet getting A’s. Why? I understood the topics, relating them to other classes and experiences, and did the reading, notetaking (Often with pictures), and listening all in those sessions.

  10. dolphinwrite says:

    There certainly needs to be more of a community of like-minded people who understand that when we were children, playing in the backyard, experimenting, looking up at the clouds and wondering, that magic was happening that can’t be quantified, but is for each person’s journey. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

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