The Awesome Miss Seeds is the story of a child with disabilities whose courage, determination, and vision enabled her to become a remarkable teacher and leader in education. It is the story of Corinne A. Seeds?s personal challenges and eventual successes, a dramatic and inspiring story of a pioneer in progressive education who influenced the lives of thousands of elementary school children and their teachers throughout the nation. As principal of the UCLA Laboratory School for over thirty years, her leadership stands as the longest continuous demonstration of progressive education west of the Mississippi. Her influence can be seen in creative programs for school children today. Her personal story, however, has not been told outside of a select circle of colleagues, students, and friends. This book is of particular significance for children with special needs who encounter obstacles while pursuing their dreams. Virtually deaf and having extremely poor eyesight, Corinne A. Seeds grew up in an era before modern technology was perfected to assist her and without special-education programs?as we know them today?to help her succeed. Yet her self-assurance, singleness of purpose, and extraordinary intelligence led her to accomplish what few of us will do in our lifetimes. The Awesome Miss Seeds can be enjoyed by children with a fourth-grade reading ability or as a story read by a teacher or parent. A brief background section for adults is included. The book is intended to inform today?s educators, parents, and the general public of the profound effect this extraordinary woman, relatively unknown, has had on elementary education. The Awesome Miss Seeds is particularly relevant to the many children whose school experiences were changed forever because of the dedication and accomplishments of Corinne A. Seeds.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.10(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 10 Years|
Read an Excerpt
The Awesome Miss Seeds
Her Courage Overcame Disabilities; Her Determination Changed Schools and Teaching
By Dolores A. Escobar, Sandra R. Radoff, Stephen Adams
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Dolores A. Escobar and Sandra R. Radoff
All rights reserved.
By the time Corinne Seeds reached third grade she hated school!
While the teacher talked, Corinne wiggled and squirmed. She twisted and turned. She played with pencils and books on her desk. Sometimes she made noises.
"Corinne, look at me! Listen to me," the teacher scolded.
Corinne merely turned and frowned.
Eventually, the teacher met with Corinne's parents and told them, "Corinne does not listen. She does not follow directions. Instead of learning her lessons, she misbehaves."
Corinne's parents were surprised and worried. Something had to be wrong. At home, Corinne was well behaved. She was curious. She asked many questions. She had been eager to begin school, although lately she seldom talked about school.
Following their meeting with the third grade teacher, Corinne's parents took her to a doctor. After several tests, the doctor told them, "Corinne is almost deaf. And she has very poor eyesight. She can only see things very close to her. No wonder she doesn't pay attention in school. However, we can help her."
The doctor gave Corinne glasses with thick lenses and a hearing aid to help her hear sounds more clearly. All this happened a long time ago when hearing aids were big and bulky. The batteries for the hearing aid hung in a cardboard box under her blouse and rested on Corinne's chest. Wires from the batteries connected to earphones in her ears.
At first, Corinne found it difficult to adjust the hearing aid so that sounds were neither too loud nor too soft. When she struggled to adjust the hearing aid, she frowned. When she put on her thick glasses and struggled to see things in the distance, she frowned fiercely. Sometimes her frowns made people who didn't know her think she was unfriendly.
However, Corinnes hearing aid and glasses enabled her to do schoolwork easily. She became an excellent reader. While other children played outdoor games, Corinne read books. Books became her best friends. She especially loved to read stories about people who lived long ago or in faraway places.
One of Corinne's favorite pastimes was to play school. Of course, she was always the teacher; she read stories to her dolls or to younger children in the neighborhood.
As Corinne progressed from grade to grade at school, some teachers offered to help her learn her lessons. Corinne appreciated their help. Her own mother had been a teacher before Corinne was born and had taught Corinne to respect and appreciate teachers. Most important, Corinne realized that teachers did meaningful work when they helped her and other children learn. Corinne wanted to do something worthwhile with her life too; she began to think about becoming a teacher.
By the time Corinne graduated from high school, she was sure she wanted to teach. She entered a college that would prepare her to be a teacher. Some people in the school said Corinne should not teach because of her poor eyesight and hearing disability. Corinne was worried and asked her mother for advice.
"Are you going to let other people tell you what you can or cannot do?" her mother asked.
With a determined frown, Corinne answered, "No, I know I can be a good teacher. I will graduate!" And Corinne did graduate. Soon she became "Miss Seeds," an elementary schoolteacher.
When Miss Seeds faced her first class, fifty children sat in long rows of desks in chairs that did not move. This was the way elementary schoolrooms looked in Miss Seeds's day. If a boy or girl misbehaved, Miss Seeds could ask the principal to spank the child. Do you think she ever asked the principal to spank one of her students? No! Never! But she came close to it.
One day Miss Seeds entered her classroom and saw William standing on his desk, dancing and barking like a dog. The other children were laughing wildly. Miss Seeds took William off the desk, scolded him angrily, and then quieted the children.
Miss Seeds felt terrible and a bit sad too. She wanted to be a teacher who cared and respected every child, even William. She wanted her students to be more interested in their schoolwork than in William's foolishness. She thought, How could I have helped William want to learn? Why was he acting silly? Was the class misbehaving because I haven't been a good teacher? How can I become a better teacher?
To learn more about teaching and to do the work Miss Seeds considered very important, she took a job teaching grown-ups at a night school. Most of her students were immigrants — people new to America. They spoke different languages. Some were of different races. These students went to class after they finished their day jobs. Miss Seeds taught them to read and write English so they could become good citizens of the United States of America.
The night-school students told Miss Seeds about their homelands and customs. Miss Seeds not only loved their stories, but she also learned to respect and appreciate these hardworking people. The night-school students taught Miss Seeds important lessons about the ways in which people differed but also the ways in which people were alike. These lessons about people influenced Miss Seeds throughout the rest of her life.
Excerpted from The Awesome Miss Seeds by Dolores A. Escobar, Sandra R. Radoff, Stephen Adams. Copyright © 2016 Dolores A. Escobar and Sandra R. Radoff. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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