UNDERCOVER goes to Zionsville Middle School thanks to one sensational cadet teacher

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inside the rage of work—the new memoir, the novel for adults, the assessment of students at the end of a most remarkable semester—a note comes in via email, returning me to a story written a few years ago.  "I am a senior at Zionsville Community High School in Indiana," the note began, continuing:
I am a cadet teacher this year and have been working with sixth graders at the middle school. My mentor teacher, Monica Plantan and I found your book, Undercover in the middle school library and were captivated by your writing style.

I have been a writer since elementary school and knew English would be the subject I would want to teach kids. I have been reading Undercover to my sixth graders and they are admiring the story line. They are engrossed in the book and always want me to read one more chapter to them. We have discussions everyday and answer the study guide questions I made for them.

After we finish Undercover I plan to lead up to a creative writing project and have the kids write their own story. I'm going to use Elisa as an example since she is a writer, too. I will ask them, "What would Elisa do?" to remind them to find examples from Undercover. As a beginning activity I would like to have my students write letters to you. If this is possible, is there a mailing address we may write to?

Thank you,

Rachel Bing
Cadet Teacher
Zionsville Community High School
Zionsville Middle School 
Return, for a moment, to that first line:  I am a senior at Zionsville Community High School....  This work, then, this idea, this carefully constructed, touchingly thoughtful letter emerging from a young woman months away from her first days at college. 

Of course, I said, I would be happy to participate in any way possible, and so soon, on this blog, you'll be meeting some of Rachel's students.  You'll be seeing the impact that a young woman with a sure ambition is already having on the world.

I am honored to serve as one means of conveyance.


Beth F said...

Wow! How wonderful.

Charlie said...

She read this to me! I was one of those students! OH!

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