Dr. Seuss

Thank you Dr. Seuss for saying the most important words.  I thought I knew you well, and today you inspired me yet again with your wisdom.

And now I find that the tables are turned.  I must write words of wisdom, Dr. Seuss words, to children.  It has become a popular custom for parents to have their child’s teachers – all teachers from preschool through high school – write a message in the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.  The book is then given to the child as a high school graduation gift.

I have the privilege of being the first teacher to open that new book and pen words to a child.  Those words won’t be read for fourteen years.  I always think I need to carefully plan what I say, but… I just say it.  I write from the heart.  I told Vivian she would do great things, because she is already doing that now.  I told Jackson to follow his heart, because when he does the world opens up.

Writing those words is a tremendous thing.  I hope reading them in fourteen years will be a tremendous thing for the child.

Thank you, Dr. Seuss.



About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty 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 am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in books, children's books, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Imagination, Inspiration, Love, picture books, preschool, Quotes, Teaching young children, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Dr. Seuss

  1. Ritu says:

    What a beautiful tradition! 😍

  2. Opher says:

    What a great privilege and onus! Your words will inspire Jennie. You change lives!

  3. beetleypete says:

    In 14 years time, he will treasure both the words, and his memories of you. That’s a lovely thing to do, Jennie. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Pete. I hope so. It’s usually one parent a year who does this for their child. Always exciting to be the first to write in that book. Best to you!

  4. What a wonderful custom! I would have been beyond thrilled to have received such a gift at my high school graduation.

  5. Darlene says:

    What a delightful idea. I hope more parents decide to do this.

  6. Denise says:

    What an amazing idea!

  7. Dan Antion says:

    I’m sure those future graduates will appreciate those words and they will evoke the fond memories they carry of your class.

  8. Such a wise man with wonderful books. I used this one in my high school graduation speech. Your post brought me back to a time when I could not wait to leave the confines of those troubled years. Your students are blessed by your presence ❤

  9. The transcendence of words written today to be read fourteen years from now is an amazing thing to contemplate. Thanks for this Jennie.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m glad you understand this, John. Not many people can grasp the enormity of what that would be like fourteen years later. I cannot. My grandmother’s sister, my Aunt Beryl, wrote a letter to every child born into her family. I never knew that until I was an adult and discovered the letter she had written to me. That was as close as I have come to the transcendence of words read many years later. It is more than wonderful. Thank you, John. Apologies for a long reply.

  10. That is moving and so inspired! I love the message.

  11. That would make for interesting reading in 14 years. I wonder if much will have changed. Basic human behaviour should be the same, even if the world around us has changed. I still have some old letters of my mother’s and I find that her thoughts and advice to me are still valid and treasured even more for being written so long ago. I expect that your notes in the book will be that way too.

    • Jennie says:

      You are right, Anneli. While the world changes around us, the important words that people say and write don’t really change at all. Like you, those wonderful old letters hold treasured words and thoughts that still hold true. Thank you!

  12. Maggie says:

    What a lovely gesture and amazing gift for the future.

    My friend just retired from teaching and her principal told her she estimated she had taught around 5,000 children. What a responsibility and gift!

    It makes me feel so good to know how much you recognize the impact you have on young lives. Thank you.

    • Jennie says:

      Responsibility and gift – well said. That’s exactly how it is. Thank you, Maggie. I do recognize the enormous impact that words have on children, especially from a teacher.

  13. L. Marie says:

    Oh, I love that tradition! I wish my school had had that one.

  14. What a beautiful gift… love it.. ❤

  15. My son, Greg, was given this book by the school when he moved from the pre-prep to the prep school, Jennie. Such a great book. This idea of having the teachers all sign the book is new to me but it sounds lovely.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m so glad that Greg was given this great book. I don’t know who came up with the idea of having teachers sign the book, but s/he deserves a gold star. Thank you, Robbie.

  16. Just wonderful Jennie, but then you are an incredibly kind, generous, and beautiful human being. ❤

  17. So wonderful. What a great privilege, Jenny.

  18. Annika Perry says:

    A precious memory for the pupils, Jennie and I totally understand the care and thought you will give to the very first entry for each child! 😀

  19. Norah says:

    What a wonderful gift for the children. It’s a keep-forever book that reminds them of their value and place in the world. They have a right to be here, to be loved and to be successful.

  20. A wonderful tradition and idea. Congratulations too, Jennie! Best wishes, Michael

  21. I write from the heart too, Jennie, and never worry about saying the wrong thing because f it comes from our hearts, there is a good reason for it to be said. Thank you so kindly.

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