Teachers Make a Difference

I've received some questions recently about Simmons College's Center for the Study of Children's Literature in Boston, which is where I got my M.A. degree.

In a case of excellent timing, just last week on her blog, Cynsations, Cynthia Leitich Smith interviewed one of my favorite teachers ever, Cathie Mercier. Cathie is one of the professors who made my experience at Simmons so extraordinary. And the interview is all about the different children's literature programs Simmons offers -- which means that now I don't have to write about it myself! I can just send you all to Cathie's interview! BWA-HA-HA! Laziness for the win!

Seriously, though, if you have any specific questions for me about the Simmons experience, please feel free to leave me a question today in the comments, and I will respond. A number of my readers are Simmons graduates, actually, so they should feel free to chime in as well!

Finally, here's a three-minute video in honor of teachers. Yes, it might be familiar -- I posted it here less than two months ago. But you know what? This one's worth a second viewing. Why? Because teachers make a goddamned difference. :o)


tinkandalissa said…
Teachers do make a world of difference! I have several that greatly influenced me and my love of learning, reading and writing! So, YAY teachers!
On a side note, I wanted to give you this recipe for the slow cooker...smothered beef tips w/rice pilaf
since the meat shrinks when it cooks, you will probably want to get 2lbs for yourself so you can have leftovers!
2lbs of beef tips or beef stew meat
seared in a skillet (season w/salt & pepper)
toss that in your slow cooker and cover with water for about 4hrs on med or low, or until meat is fork tender
if you can, keep an eye on it after a few hours to see if more water is needed, (that's not always the case so feel free to leave if necessary)
use the juice that is left to make gravy (at this point I cheat since I am horrible at making gravy from scratch. I get 2-3 packets of McCormick brown gravy mix and use that. Each packet calls for 1c of water so I use mostly juice from the cooked meat & then supplement some plain water so it's not too salty)
In a skillet saute sliced onions and mushrooms and then mix into your gravy.
Dump all that over your meat and let that simmer on low for about 30min so that the yumminess can cook into the meat.
I use boxed Near East Original Rice Pilaf (usually 2 boxes if you have extra people or want leftovers) cook according to the directions on the box...duh, no shit, sherlock...
I usually put the rice on the plate first and then the meat deliciousness w/the gravy all over the top.
Too good!!!
For the beef stew, you can use the same kind of beef tips or stew meat, or you can just get a roast and chop it up after it cooks in the slow cooker...(sear in skillet & season, cover with water)
carrots, potatoes, onions, rutabaga (old people vegetable, but I LOVE it!) and any other veggie you want to throw in there.
cook the meat first since that takes a while, then toss the veggies in until everything is tender. Use the juice to make gravy from scratch, or use my handy dandy lazy method from above.
Yum! Hope you enjoy.
Anonymous said…
Some of that is exactly what I hate about teachers. But he does make a good point at the end. It's true, teachers do make a difference. I have a lot of respect for mine. (Most of them, anyway).
Hey Kristin...

Thanks so much for this post about teachers. I am a teacher, and I've taught every grade from 6-12 and am currently working with first and second graders. It's nice to hear a writer appreciate the work we do.

Anonymous said…
I sounded kinda grumpy in my last post, didn't I? Most of my teachers are awesome.

I went to Powell's today and your book was one of the featured YA books! It made me happy. I love that place. I could spend all day there.
Kristin Cashore said…
TinkandAlissa, thanks a million for the recipe! Sounds yummy.

Charly, I am the Queen of Grump, so no worries. I love Powell's, too. Well, I've never actually been to one of their stores, but I love their site. Thanks for the Graceling news :o)

Lesley, you're very welcome! Teachers are heroes :o)
this has absolutley nothing to do with the post, which is awesome btw.
a need a title for a book im writing, and i cant write a title to save my life. books about 5 kids, 2 with wings, 1 with gliding membranes (like a flying squirrel), 1 who can transform into a hawk, and 1 who can fly like superman. and they have to save the world from this evil corporation named SETH. any ideas? for a title?
"not here but in my mind"-im good im gone by lykke li
Rotem said…
The Simmons professors are awesome and inspiring.

On a different note, I went back to my kindergarten teacher's class last Friday and read them a book that I edited. I showed the kids stages of bookmaking and they were adorable and attentive! Then my second grade teacher (who was one of the influences in my book-person-ness) wanted me to present to her class, as well. And she still does what she did for me: "You're going to be a historian when you grow up. Caroline--you'll be our art director." She sees a specific something in the students and gives them a goal to aspire to. At 8 years old, she gave me "no choice but to be a writer." Instead, I became an editor--but her words always stuck with me.
drabbits3 said…
thanks for the shout out! I am a teacher of grades 5-6-7-8 gifted language arts. My students read and read and read and read. My biggest challenge is keeping them in books. Luckily for me...GRACELING arrived!!! This is not just shameless sucking up--I booktalked Graceling to my 7-8 graders and I had three girls go buy it that day (alas, I only had one classroom copy) and they made a list of who gets it in what order. Two boys have read it too. Thanks for giving us an antidote to that milquetoast Bella (ick). Have you read Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey? Different but similar to yours--also good. I cannot wait for Fire and then Bitterblue--write fast!!!
But I digress...I am good at getting my students to read--it makes a huge difference in everything they do if they are avid readers. I have worked as a librarian too and the whole book world is so fun!
Kristin Cashore said…
Rotem and Dana, thanks for the very cool stories! Rotem, your teacher hit it pretty close. Dana, thank you so much for getting behind Graceling! And re: Bella -- heh heh :o)

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