Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02)

 

We all have a special teacher who shaped us into what we are. Mine is Mrs. Wilson, 7th grade Texas history. She had this way of making history about people, not just dates and facts, studying our past in human terms.

From the conquistadores (the world’s greatest explorers) to the Apache and Comanche (the fiercest fighters for Texas land), to the Texas troops at Spindletop, to the Alamo, to the rough and tumble Texas politics of Ma and Pa Ferguson, Price Daniel and beyond, Mrs. Wilson was always there putting a face to the stories of mavericks, revolutionaries, farmers, shopkeepers and freedom fighters.

Her room was decorated with Texana: Texas flags, posters of historical figures, pictures of beautiful Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush, the Texas motto and the State Song—many of the decorations at her own expense.

She had a knack for keeping us 7th graders involved and interested—a difficult thing to do with kids that age. She had costumes for us, also often at her own expense, and had us act out scenes from history. I always wanted to play my hero from the victory at the Alamo, William Barrett Travis. Anytime I could interject a rendition of the Alamo into one of our plays I was always game! Cynthia Parker, William Barrett Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Jim Bonham, Sam Houston all came to life in Mrs. Wilson’s 7th grade class.

We must all take a moment to remember those special teachers in our lives—the people who made us who we are today. We must remember all they did to help us learn and all the sacrifices they made—and that today’s teachers still make on a daily basis—to promote learning, often at their own expense.

Unfortunately, when budget cuts are made in the area of education, supplies to classes in schools across the country are sometimes the first to go. Teachers rely only upon the materials available to them: textbooks that oftentimes the teachers themselves had little to do with selecting and very few creative materials to get the kids engaged. Many times teachers could use additional supplies such as books, videos or other materials that would greatly enhance the impact of their lessons to students. Instead of going without the supplies, many teachers purchase them with their own money for the benefit of our children.

Teachers can now take a $250.00 tax credit on their income taxes thanks to a bill approved by the House of Representatives commonly known as the “Crayola Credit.” This is a necessary step in helping our nation’s teachers and they deserve it.

IDEAS TO INCLUDE?????:

  • Today I recognize these teachers. I say thank you to all the Mrs. Wilsons. I ask you to ask yourself, “What I can do to help the teachers?” “What can I do to contribute?”
  • I have spent much of my life in public service. I have public servants and teachers in my family.       I have worked all my life to serve the public, my state and my country. All the while hearing the voices of _______in my memory and feeling the guiding hand of Mrs. Wilson.
  • Who is your Mrs. Wilson? How does she inspire you

And that's just a the way it is.