July 22, 2011
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Great Teacher Notes

Great Teacher Notes

Sad news just arrived that June Aitchison Ekstedt, whom I knew as “Mrs. A”, has died at the age of 104.

For many years, she taught a wonderful class in reading for dyslexic kids in grades 1-4.

They had to study. You never underestimated to them or anyone else that it didn’t come easily, they had to work. I never had them do any work at home. I remember emphasizing to the parents not to try to teach them. They needed one steady approach every day the same way. When I would interview the parents at the beginning of the year, I was almost mean. ‘Don’t try to teach them. Don’t say anything about his reading, or anyone else’s reading to him. That’s why they were taken out of the regular class.’

It worked so well that we really thought we were a special elite. It didn’t come easy: I distinctly remember thinking to myself in first grade that this reading business was hard work and it was going to take a lot of practice before I was as fluent as my parents.

I bet I’m not the only Ph.D. who started out with Mrs. A.