Thinking about the first day of school tomorrow for kids, parents, and teachers in southeastern Virginia, I wanted to share a comment that I made, in response to the Back to School post on Ellis Nelson Books:
I loved almost everything about school, with the exception of math. However, that attitude started to change in my freshman year of high school. I had an amazing teacher, Mrs. Zwemer, for Geometry. Almost immediately, she could tell that I was struggling and offered to stay after school with me every single day, if I needed it. She quickly became one of my favorite teachers and a confidant of sorts, since I had just started the still-fresh International Baccalaureate (IB) program at a high school that was 15 miles from home. She helped me learn to appreciate math. I didn’t have her in 10th grade for Algebra II, but I was thrilled when I was able to have her again for both junior and senior years. I still remember how proud she was of the effort and dedication I put into the Internal Assessment (IA), where I had devised a student survey of their favorite roller coasters at the Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion theme parks and then used math concepts to analyze the data.
She taught math with a fervent passion, raised a beautiful family, and fought cancer valiantly. She beat breast cancer, had an eight-year remission, and then she was diagnosed with metastatic disease the year after I graduated from high school. This diagnosis caused her early retirement in 2012, and everyone mourned, after teaching for just 18 years. I have a greater appreciation for Buzz Lightyear because of her – Anything and everything Buzz-related decorated her classroom.
She died, peacefully, on January 2, 2015. She was 56 years old. My mom and my now-husband went to her funeral with me, and both of them were lucky enough to have met her several times before the cancer took her away. I think of her every day. She lives on in all of us. To infinity and beyond!
I hope everyone has a great start to the new school year!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂