Caroline and Papa by Ronald B. Schram Summary
I had the career of a lifetime. I was a teacher. I began my teaching career believing that one person could make a difference, and throughout the years, I never lost sight of that conviction. Teaching connected me to my students in ways quite humorous, as well as heart breaking. I hope the reader laughs a lot and cries only a little, while walking in my footsteps as an educator. Laugh with me as you read about Fred, the crusty cockroach we set free to find his wife and eighty-seven children. In addition, there is always my favorite story about the scary monster under the bed holding a student's homework hostage. I fed a rooster and his hens bread crumbs for breakfast each morning, until they tried to follow me, in single file, into the school board building one day. Some difficult students in summer school mistakenly believed my black patent leather belt to be a black belt in Karate. Who was I to tell them differently? Coming right on top of the laughs were the times I went home to cry. I remember the student, new to our school, who went home one evening and hung himself, his cries for help coming too late. I remember with equal sadness, the foster child we sponsored in Kenya who died because help did not reach him in time. Closer to home was the overage student who was shot and killed while he participated in a home invasion, just days after he finished summer school. Outside factors reached inside our classroom as well, reeking havoc with the emotions of both the children and me. The disastrous space shuttle, with the teacher on board, happened before our very eyes; while the greatest tragedy of all was the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11. These stories and many more comprise my educational career, and although there was no easy button, I would do it all over again. I was a teacher.