Love Mary B: A Teacher's Gift



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"Love Mary B: A Teacher's Gift" is an inspiring and challenging journey through twentieth century American schools and society as narrated through the letters of a gifted teacher and impassioned advocate for social justice. At its heart it is also a celebration of all who respond to the calling to be a teacher so eloquently honored through Leonard Bernstein's quote, "Teaching is the noblest, most unselfish, most honorable profession." In her letters Mary B guides us through her life beginning in the early nineteen hundreds as it mirrors the educational evolution in America. Through her charming and poignant tales we are welcomed into a world where she weaves threads and conversations with her grandmother, a teacher from the nineteenth century with her own experiences. Mary B's story is also dramatically heightened by a life-changing encounter with Martin Luther King, Jr. who inspired her work as an urban community activist, and also culminated in being a first-hand witness to the September 11 tragedy in New York City. Against this background we are invited to find our seat in her classroom with countless students in learning the alphabet, our numbers, our place in the world and most importantly how to share our gifts with one another. Through these recollections a tapestry of humor, tragedy and hope unfolds to spark readers' memories of long forgotten and cherished school days and teachers. Over the past several years this gifted teacher has touched countless lives in her letters of hope and joy, as well as the dramatic stage re-enactment of her life by award winning actress, Barbara Bourgeois. As you now open the door to her classroom through these pages, you too will be welcomed into this new world to learn how to Love Mary B.