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Joseph & Morocco,
Photo taken by Deborah McCormick,
Hacienda Tres Aquilas , January 2005





Shown below are selected comments from a sampling of unsolicited letters received in the past couple of years.  The letters were written by undergrad and graduate students.  The classes they reference range from ones I taught in the Communication Department (COMM 340: Communicating the Narrative; COMM 401: Interpreting Strategic Discourse) and classes in Department of Curriculum & Instruction (EDCI 340:Methods of Teaching Secondary English, Speech & Theatre; EDCI 342/643: Teaching Language Arts; EDCI 466: Adolescent Literature; and EDCI 696: Action Research).





“ You are the most inspirational teacher I have ever had and my kids would love you and your stories. . .after having a little time with you, you have a healing and inspiring effect on me and seem to help me put things in perspective. Thank you! I know why I am here and I can make a difference. I am doing the right thing and I will stay positive and focused on my goals!” Ashley (MCP elem cohort ’05)
NOTE: Ashley’s first graders were in an “at-risk” school. They were all “culturally different.” After the story, they each wrote individual poem cards. Ashley’s action research project concluded that the class went from having no poets in it to 100% poets.

“You have a wonderful gift of retelling stories and having it 'click' in this generation's mind. I didn't know that power stories had to make a complete stranger cry. You are definitely one of the most inspiring professors I have had in my 20 years of school. When I look back in my college experience, you will be one of the few things I will always remember with a smile.” Erika (COMM 401 & 340, 04)

“Our talks and our classes have ingrained in me so much depth and joy, that they will forever impact the decisions I make in my life
, . . One of the most precious gifts I received from you, and the energy that flows through you, was that Trick Questions need Trick answers. . . Regardless of this all, I find tremendous comfort to think back to our time spent and know that somewhere this very second, another soul is blossoming under your watchful gaze.  I hope all is well in your life, and that your heart shines in it's limitless compassion..that same compassion you showed all of us when you came back to teach last semester.  In that way, you are soo much like the horse symbol you adore, powerful and strong in all the right ways.Paul (COMM 401 & 340, 04)

“I can't get out of my mind your telling some of these stories
.  I know this may be an odd request, but I was wondering if it would be possible for you to visit my school and tell one of these tales.  I would appreciate more than you could know, and I know my students would be able to take so much more from the lesson if they could get into one of the stories.  I've never experienced someone so able to tell a story. “ Jessica (English Ed ’02)

“The other day I received my acceptance letter (for Ph.D. program) . . . I owe much of my enthusiasm for higher education in the field of education to your passion and dedication.” Beth (MCP elem 02)

Oh my gosh—I LOVE my student teaching!  It is most definitely picking up the pace, I am on break now and when I get back I'll be in total teaching.  I absolutely love the kids and I love the mentor teachers I am with, they're fantastic.  I have always liked English, specifically the literature aspect and would love to continue my education in this area.  Not only would I be expanding upon my education, I would be doing so in a way that would allow me to teach and share my passion for this subject with my classes.” Jessie (Elem Lang Arts class, 04)

“There are a handful of my college professors whose influence continue to impact my as a teacher. You would rank up there as one of them.” Rachel (English Ed ’98)

“You are a great professor and really made me feel respected and excited to be in class to learn. Thank you for your work. It is very hard finding a teacher who does his job well and makes me motivated to do my work as a student. Have a great semester and thank you again for teaching in such an organized, clear, and fun manner.Juliette (COMM student ’04)

“I can't tell you how many times I've referred to a story or a lesson I learned from you in my daily life. I think about the issues we talked about a lot, and I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your classes. So, there you go! I hope we can start e-mailing or maybe I can sit in on a class sometime to get a jolt of inspiration for how to be a better thinker.” Sarah (COMM 401 & 340 ’03)

“I am still inspired by your storytelling. I hope that storytelling will become one of my main hobbies.  In order to learn more, I plan to join the National Storytellers Network
.” Jill (COMM 401 & 340 ’03)  

I just had to tell you that your storytelling class and adolescent lit class has really inspired me as a teacher.” Jessica (English Ed ’00)

“I have been teaching for the past two years in Massachusetts and have been very successful thanks to the great program at Maryland .   I am starting to pursue graduate school, and want to attend UMass” Kristin (English Ed 02)

“I've been nominated for first year teacher of the year.”Brianna (English Ed MCP 02


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Last Updated: January 23, 2006  ©2005 dochorsetales