As far as I can remember, I have always loved school. Everything about it delighted my senses—the sound of the chalk forming words and ideas on the board; the neat, tidy rows of desks; sharp, yellow pencils; Crayola boxes filled with neatly lined color coordinated crayons. When I was a kid, school was my refuge–the place where my teachers made me feel special. It is no surprise, then that I became a teacher myself.

As I was working on my undergraduate teaching degree at the then Trenton State College, I met Dr. Virginia Rojas, who shared the following illustration with me: “The well-respected professionals–doctors, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs—all sit at a large, grand banquet table, feasting. Teachers do not have a seat at this table overflowing with delicacies and abundance. We instead stand at the end of the table, watching. Whenever we seem discouraged or start to turn away, crumbs are sent our way to keep us there a while longer. Though small, the crumbs are enough to make us stay.”

I have come to understand that the feast and abundance being enjoyed by the other professions are the respect, accolades and financial benefits teachers seldom enjoy. The crumbs come in the form of sweet notes from the children we serve, words of gratitude from their parents, or the occasional nod of recognition for our efforts.

This illustration inspired the idea for the upcoming book, A Crumb for the Teacher – A collection of real stories about teachers who had a major impact on the lives of their students. Stories meant to celebrate those who have taken on the challenge to inspire, encourage, and equip future generations; to serve as reminders that what teachers do on a daily basis is good and noble and praiseworthy.

For a chance to have your teacher story included in this special book project, use the form on this page to submit it. Be sure to include important details, along with your contact information.