Finding Mrs. Warnecke: The Difference Teachers Make

Overview

Finding Mrs. Warnecke tells the inspiring story of Cindi Rigsbee, a three-time Teacher of the Year, and Barbara Warnecke, the first-grade teacher who had a profound and lasting impact on Cindi's life. Cindi, an insecure child who craved positive attention, started her first-grade year with a teacher who was emotionally abusive and played favorites in the classroom. Two months into the school year, her principal came into the classroom and announced that half the students were being moved to another classroom—a ...

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Overview

Finding Mrs. Warnecke tells the inspiring story of Cindi Rigsbee, a three-time Teacher of the Year, and Barbara Warnecke, the first-grade teacher who had a profound and lasting impact on Cindi's life. Cindi, an insecure child who craved positive attention, started her first-grade year with a teacher who was emotionally abusive and played favorites in the classroom. Two months into the school year, her principal came into the classroom and announced that half the students were being moved to another classroom—a dank, windowless basement room, with a young and inexperienced teacher. This change turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Cindi. Her new teacher, Mrs. Warnecke, made learning come alive for her students. She went overboard caring for each child, made her classroom "magical," and encouraged students to pursue their dreams. Although Cindi was reluctant to explore her creativity as a student, Mrs. Warnecke encouraged her to read and write poetry, which became a lifelong passion. The two kept in touch for several years but lost track of each other when Mrs. Warnecke moved out of state. Cindi spent many years trying to reconnect so she could thank Mrs. Warnecke for making such a difference in her life, but to no avail. Eventually Cindi became a teacher herself, and thirty years later she has taught more than 2,000 children and been named Teacher of the Year for her home state. She later came to realize that all those years she wasn't really trying to track down Barbara Warnecke, but rather, she was trying to "find Mrs. Warnecke" within herself.

In Fall 2008 Cindi and Barbara were reunited on Good Morning America; the show's producers had tracked Barbara down and brought both women on-set for a tearful reunion. Barbara was floored at this attention—she had no idea she could have made such an impact on a former student's life. As Cindi travels around talking with new and veteran educators, she is always approached by audience members who are moved to tears and want to share the story of the "Mrs. Warnecke" in their own lives. Finding Mrs. Warnecke not only tells the story of this teacher who made a lifelong impact on her students, it illustrates the importance of the teacher/student relationship in the classroom, and offers principles for other teachers to follow to make a positive impact in their own classrooms.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470486788
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 141
  • Sales rank: 448,011
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Cindi Rigsbee, M.Ed., is a veteran teacher with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. As the 2008 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, she traveled 10,000 miles around her home state speaking to teachers on the impact educators have on their students. Rigsbee writes frequently for teachermagazine.org and has a popular blog called The Dream Teacher (thedreamteacher.blogspot.com). She was one of four finalists for the prestigious 2009 National Teacher of the Year Award.

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Table of Contents

About the Author.

Acknowledgments.

Foreword.

Prologue.

One: Looking for Stars.

Two: Finding My Way.

Three: Finding the Connections.

Four: Exploring the Magic.

Five: Searching for Strength.

Six: Bringing Dreams to Light.

Seven: Finding Mrs. Warnecke.

Eight: Reflecting on the Meaning.

Epilogue.

Everyone Has a Mrs. Warnecke.

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Great Book for New and Old Teachers!

    I just finished reading the book yesterday, and after quite a few laughs, tears, and ah-ha moments, I feel like a better educator because I have read it. You brought the flame back out in me, and made me once again remember why I chose this wonderful profession! You had me thinking about my past students, along with my own teaching style, and what I could do to be a better educator to not only the students of Charleston County, but to the first year teachers as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    A wonderful journey!

    I absolutely loved this book! Cindi Rigsbee takes us on a journey through time. As she begins her life as a student who lacks confidence in herself, she finds a teacher who sees the potential in her and who encourages her to be the best she can be. Reading this story made me realize that I was not blessed with a Mrs. Warnecke growing up but hope that all children will be, including my own. Cindi wrote an amazing story and the children whose lives she has touched over the years are so very fortunate to have met her!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

    A must read for veteran teachers!

    I read this book in one sitting! After teaching 17 years, it served as a much needed reminder of why I teach. This is the story of Cindi's efforts to reconnect with Mrs. Warnecke, the first grade teacher who impacted her life. It is written with much sincerity and admiration. I can only hope that I have made as profound impression on some of my former students as Mrs. Warnecke has on Cindi! I especially liked the part about their reunion on national TV. I recommend this book to those of us who have been teaching for a while. After reading it, I went to school the next day with a renewed sence of purpose. Thank you, Cindi!

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    Life Changing

    This book is a wake up call -- reminding us that we have the capacity on a daily basis to positively impact another person's life no matter what our profession may be. Simple, small gestures of kindness can make all the difference.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Teacher Appreciation, Indeed

    This is teacher appreciaton week--a fitting time to express appreciation to Cindi Rigsbee for her book Finding Mrs. Warnecke. The book teaches lessons to us all, but as a veteran teacher myself, I was stopped in my tracks by one insight so simple that it should be evident to every one of us: Cindi said that her life as a teacher changed when she began unconditionally to accept her students. It was an epiphany and inspired me to reflect on my practice. Every day I come home and ask myself, "Did I unconditionally accept every one of my students today?" Thank you, Cindi, for making me a better teacher.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    Reminds you that we all have a Mrs. Warnecke

    I just finished this book and was caught thinking, "who was my Mrs Warnecke?" This was a fun reflecting book that we all need to read and see what we have inside of each of us. We should all try to figure out both: Who our Mrs. Warnecke is and are we a Mrs Warnecke to someone today?

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  • Posted March 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Charming, heart breaking, heart warming, uplifting!

    Find a comfortable place to sit for a couple of hours and read Finding Mrs. Warnecke. Cindi takes us on a heartwarming journey from an awkward first grade student to a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. This inspiring story brought tears to my eyes on one page but made me laugh out loud on the other. All this, while being deeply touched on how one teacher, Barbara Warnecke had such a wonderful influence in her life. I also loved the idea of incorporating stories from other women impacted by their teachers throughout the book. This is truly a great gift idea for anyone who has someone to thank in their lives. I just bought 4 more!

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    Posted February 6, 2012

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    Posted June 11, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

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