Tuesday was National Teacher Day; I meant to post this then but got busy and so now it’s two days late. It’s a tribute to all teachers, but especially the hardworking, dedicated and no-nonsense Marilyn Laidlaw, a P.E. teacher at James Denman Middle School. I got to know Marilyn in the wake of the JROTC controversy, after she reached out to me to take issue with some of my notions concerning P.E.
Since then, I’ve visited her class at Denman several times. When her 8th graders were learning gymnastics, she brooked no protest when I wanted to sit and watch and instead insisted I learn how to do a handstand (I did – wouldn’t you have?) More recently, I’ve visited her dance classes, which are a combination of typical 6th grade students and mainstreamed students with disabilities who are enrolled in a self-contained classroom at Denman. I could say a lot more about the lovely interactions and mutual learning I’ve observed on these occasions, but I’d rather let the videos below speak for themselves. Watch all three — it’s a total time investment of maybe six minutes and well worth it – are these joyful learners or what?
Thanks, Marilyn, for everything you do. And thanks to all teachers who continue to believe in what they are doing and in the students they are teaching. I am so grateful.