More important than state of the art schools: State of the art teachers

I agree that state-of-the-art schools are something to aim for, but your letter writer left out the most important part of the ideal classroom: The person who sits behind the desk in the front of the room ("Baltimore needs state-of-the-art schools to grow," June 23).

I was seven years old and had been in school for a year and a half when I was transferred from an expensive private boarding school to a public school in Baltimore City. I was left-handed, but nobody had ever heard of dyslexia.

I was considered stupid or stubborn because I could not read or write.

I can still remember the wonderfully pungent aroma of the old wooden floors in my new school, the friendly principal who smiled when I waved and said good morning — and I shall never forget Miss Nettie German, my new teacher.

We studied about the American Indians — and we became American Indians. We even built tepees. It was very exciting. Somehow Miss Nettie, from her experience, knew the secret, and I learned to read.

I spent the whole of the next summer going to the library every day. With the help of a good librarian, I started with nursery rhymes and worked my way up to Jack London. I became an A student and had my choice of three college scholarships.

I could never afford to travel, but my books have taken me all over the world. Thanks, Miss Nettie. There is no substitute for a really good teacher.

Jo Magrogan, Catonsville

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