American remedy for the blues

16th May 2008 at 01:00
Teachers could be forgiven for feeling under siege following recent warnings suggesting they are incompetent
Teachers could be forgiven for feeling under siege following recent warnings suggesting they are incompetent. If so, maybe a trip across the Atlantic would cure their blues. In the United States, teacher praise seems to be all the rage.

This month, congressman Peter Roskam honoured his fourth-grade teacher, Miss Lillian Anderson, and called for a National Teacher Day. California already has a teacher of the year competition, and last week, the Detroit Free Press's Yak's Corner kids' column proudly announced: "Today is teacher appreciation day and the Yak sure appreciates all teachers he knows."

Somehow, American cermonies are always more emotional than ours. Derenda Marshall, a finalist for the Georgetown County School District's teacher of the year award in South Carolina, said: "My students often call me Mrs Frizzle, because I dress like this magical teacher and take them on magnificent journeys. Being nominated is a humbling experience. Teaching is truly my passion. When I heard my name announced, tears came to my eyes."

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