ERIC Number: EJ751586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
A Teachable Moment
Bigelow, Terry Patrick; Ried, C. A.
English Journal, v96 n1 p17-18 Sep 2006
The first part of this article recounts the experiences of a language arts teacher, Terry Patrick Bigelow, and his former student, Cynthia (Noyes) Ried, who suffers from Fahr's Syndrome, a neurodegenerative congenital disease that forms calcium deposits deep inside the brain. It is irreversible, inoperable, and incurable. In the first part of the article, Bigelow relates the story of Cynthia and how he exposed her to poetry, which became her outlet for expressing her feelings, and challenged her to write about the things she appreciates in life that others take for granted. In the second part, Ried turns the tables, as she shares her experience with her former middle school teacher, Mr. Bigelow, whom she sought out to tell him about the huge impact his teaching methods had in fostering her fascination with poetry and the love of writing that stirred her to write her own poetry in response to her rapidly progressing illness. Ried concludes by sharing one of her poems, and reminding teachers that they are always teaching someone something even if they are not sure anyone is listening.
Descriptors: Poetry, Middle Schools, Middle School Teachers, Language Arts, Neurological Impairments, Congenital Impairments, Brain, Personal Narratives, Terminal Illness
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site: http://www.ncte.org/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A