If you ever post anything on my Facebook page, I ALWAYS read it. I may not get a chance to answer everything, but I do see it.
During the week of my Ultimate Chevron Giveaway, I noticed a comment from someone who mentioned that her friend deserved the package because she was injured protecting her students from the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.
After reading that, I had to find out more about this teacher. I reached out to the person that made the comment, Tessa Proffitt.
Tessa explained the situation and shared the story of this remarkable teacher, Karen Marinelli. Karen’s story brought tears to my eyes. Being a mother and a teacher, I was so moved by this special woman.
Here is Karen’s story…
Karen’s friend, Tessa, explained that Karen loves the Schoolgirl Style website and she was crazy about all of the chevron products we featured last week.
I’m sure you can agree, Karen is so deserving of our Ultimate Chevron Giveaway prize package!
So, although Karen wasn’t my grand prize winner, after discussing the situation with the other girls involved in the giveaway, we decided to give Karen everything from the giveaway, PLUS a little more!
Karen will be receiving…
1. $350 from Creative Teaching Press
Karen will need to decorate and replenish classroom supplies. Creative Teaching Press has generously offered to help Karen rebuild her classroom.
2. The entire store from A Modern Teacher!
April McNair from A Modern Teacher has offered to give Karen anything she would like from her shop!
3. Tote bag from Ooh Baby Designs
Karen will be getting the DELUXE teacher tote bag! Karen will be toting her papers home in style!
4. An outfit from Sass My Style Boutique
Sass My Style Boutique will make sure that Karen will be one of the most stylish teachers in Oklahoma!
5. A $30 gift certificate to Stella & Dot
Jewelry stylist, Katie Redmond, will make sure that Karen has some fabulous accessories to go with her new outfit!
6. Finally, I would like to give Karen ANYTHING in the Schoolgirl Style Shop, including personal design service for her new classroom. Karen and I can work together to design Karen’s new dream classroom when she returns to school in the fall.
Karen’s dedication to her students and her ultimate sacrifice of putting herself in harms way to protect her children is, in my opinion, the most honorable act of heroism.
Someone mentioned on my blog that they heard the media reported that 2013 was “The Year of the Teacher.” I couldn’t agree more. Just when our profession seems to be taking a hit, people like Karen bring the honor and respect back for teachers.
After the Sandy Hook shootings, I was so so emotional. To cope with the unfathomable crime that was committed, I wrote a blog post to sort out my feelings. Here is a piece of what I wrote…
As a teacher, there is an unspoken understanding that once those children enter my classroom, I become their “substitute mother.” It’s not in the job description or in my contract, it is something that comes from within and just happens. From that first day of meeting my students, they become “mine.” I am responsible for each child in my classroom. I push them to do their best. I encourage them to work hard. I praise them endlessly and scold them when they need it. I expect them to show their manners. I teach them how to get along with others. I give them hugs when they are hurt, when they do something I am proud of, or “just because.” I hold their little hands as we walk down the hallway. We laugh together, sing songs, and dance. I show them how to be a good friend. I am there to cheer them up when their feelings are hurt or when their best friend doesn’t want to play with them. I comfort them when they are sad. I hear every tattle and injustice in their little worlds and teach them how to handle disappointments. I encourage and model kindness and instill empathy for others. I tell them over and over how much I care about them, and yes, I tell them that I love them. I invest my time and energy into each one of my students and after my day is finished, I’ve spent more time with them than my own family. I will do everything in my power to protect them and keep them safe.
I would die for them.
When those parents leave their children with me, it is my duty to do whatever it takes to make sure they go home safely, even if it means that my own children would be motherless.
I would never ask for anyone to “pat me on the back.” This is the profession I chose. This IS my calling. Yes, protecting a child might be a “human instinct,” but it is deeper than that. These students are MY children. Each one has a piece of my heart.
Teachers do extraordinary things EVERY SINGLE DAY.
This is how I feel about Karen. Karen is a hero in my eyes, along with all of her colleagues. Karen makes me proud to be a teacher. I can’t think of a more noble and selfless job.
So, thank you, Karen!
I would love it if you could take a minute and send some well wishes to our friend. I am sure that your messages and kind words can lift her spirits during this hard time.