In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I wanted to tell you about my favorite and most memorable teacher. It was my 2nd grade teacher, Jeanne Cullander.

Ms. Cullandar gave me a love of science. She taught science in a way that made children remain fascinated throughout their lives. She believed the reason that so many adults grew up hating science is that they learned about it only from books. I remember, like it was yesterday, when she taught us that “heat rises.” I was deeply skeptical of such a concept, and shared my skepticism with her. Instead of turning me to books or theories, she came in the next day with a dozen wall thermometers, which she gave to me to attach the wall of the classroom, distributed  in a vertical  line from the floor to the ceiling. I then checked them many times throughout the day, indeed observing that the lower thermometers did register lower temperatures that those higher on the wall.

Ms. Cullandar: thank you for inspiring me to learn, instead of to memorize. To question, observe, and understand, instead of just blindly accepting a concept.

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