I am a reformed middle school English/history/drama teacher of 30 years who is tumbling into a transitional third chapter of 30 more years doing who knows what. I've put off the acceptance of my retirement for a few months since June 13, my last day working for the Bethel School District in Eugene, Oregon. As the October air slightly shifted toward crisper nights two days ago, and Christmas ads jumped out of Sunday newspaper ads this morning at 5:30 A.M. I faced reality.
Okay, I recently had a few teacher dreams too. They probably were of the out-of-control genre where unruly adolescents are squeezing their fingers into the pencil sharpener or sexting their friends. I really can't remember. More than likely, I was going over the classroom rules on an overhead wishing that I had a Smart Board like the weatherpeople on Channel 5.
The time has come to travel for peace. I will carry the originally designed butterfly peace quilt wherever I am invited. I will tell the story of adolescents researching the U.S. Nobel Peace Laureates, internalizing their own individual ways of becoming peacemakers, and then putting their words into actions.
I will tell their stories of teaching peace to classrooms of first, second, third and fourth graders and to parents, siblings, grandparents, and other adults.
Because of their enthusiasm and hard work, I am moved to spread a zillion visions of peace to the world with the butterfly quilt as a backdrop. The hope is to inspire others to send postcards to Oprah Winfrey and more importantly, to stir individuals to act on their different ways of changing the world into a better place. (Oprah's P.O. Box is still being stuffed with postcards for peace, but no one knows from where they come. 1,000,000 is the goal.)
I will pack my carpet bag with that peace quilt to travel around the world in 80 days. In my mind at least. I like metaphors and teachers exaggerate.
U.S. Nobel Laureate Peace Educator of the Year,
University of Oregon English Methods Teacher, OSU Adjunct Instructor, Veteran Middle School Teacher, Civic and Church Workshop Leader, One of Five Funniest People in Eugene, Humorist, Educational Consultant, One-woman Show: Eleanor Roosevelt, fledgling peacemaker for one year.
2009-2010 GOAL/TEACHER'S PROMISE: I will encourage anyone who will listen to write a peace postcard to Oprah Winfrey by displaying the Butterfly Quilt and telling stories of children's inspiring peace visions. I will ask people to join with Shasta Middle Schoolers in Eugene, Oregon who believe that 1,000,000 visions-of-peace postcards stuffed into a snail-mail post office box could change the world...simply by their sheer abundance of postive thoughts...and subsequent change-producing actions.
Click blog entry for November 11, 2009 below for easy directions on how to add your dream for world peace.