An Impressive Young Man

There are times in a teaching career when you wonder, “Was it all worth it? Would I do it again?”  My answer has always been a resounding “yes” to those questions, but I don’t think there is a teacher alive who hasn’t wondered about those things on occasion.  All teachers inevitably have bad days, and it can leave you feeling, “What am I doing? I must be the world’s worst teacher.”   

One of the mysteries of teaching is that you can have one of these awful days from nowhere.  With experience, you learn that these things can happen randomly for no apparent reason.  Many times, it has nothing to do with you but difficult situations that are going on in your students’ lives that you are unaware of.  Sometimes you discover why things went amiss, but many times you don’t.  Just as often, the following day, everything goes according to plan, and you feel like the consummate professional.  Such are the ups and downs of being an educator.

I’ve written previously about some of my favorite post-teaching moments. One post was entitled The Delayed Rewards of Teaching https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/the-delayed-rewards-of-teaching/ and, most recently, an article called Our Future is in Good Hands. https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2020/07/09/our-future-is-in-good-hands/

This past week I had one of those beautiful post-teaching experiences that reminded me why I became an educator.  When you’re in the middle of a school year, you have these memorable experiences when you see a child accomplish something remarkable or observe a fantastic transformation in a child’s academics or behavior.  While these accomplishments are rewarding, the big payoff often comes years later.

I taught Samy Awwad in third grade several years ago.  He was a bright and sometimes mischievous (never mean) boy with a great deal of potential.  I had the pleasure of teaching Samy’s brother the year before him, and his younger sister two years after I taught Samy.  They all were exceptionally bright students with promising futures.  Unsurprisingly, their parents set an excellent example by being educated, kind people, who put tremendous value on education.

Just because a student is intelligent is no guarantee of future success.  I saw bright students get sidetracked for various reasons as they became young adults. The most common reasons were dysfunction in the family, childhood trauma, lack of motivation, hanging out with the wrong peers, or substance abuse problems.

Then there are students like Samy Awwad, who not only do well in school but take their natural ability and run with it.  Imagine being a sixteen-year-senior, having already received preadmission to Stanford, and starting up a nonprofit organization for young people. 

Awwad’s nonprofit is called IMMUNIGLOBAL.  http://www.immuniglobal.org/ His primary focus is to bring education and awareness of the importance of vaccinations to the community in fighting preventable diseases such as the measles or flu.

Immuniglobal is not a small undertaking.  Awwad built his nonprofit from the ground up, including website design and development, workshops, outreach, and phone education.

He approached the problem of vaccine education logically by first building his website from scratch to provide information regarding immunizations.  A couple of the most startling facts on Awwad’s website are that according to the World Health Organization, between two and three million deaths are prevented each year by vaccinations.  According to the CDC, a savings of an estimated 42,000 lives occur in the United States per year.

Awwad sees the big picture and comprehends that real change comes at the grassroots level while also understanding the need to work with huge companies.  He has partnered with large organizations and institutions such as the CDC, CLOROX, and UCLA.

The level of thought and action that Awwad has taken is inspiring. He recognized the lack of immunizations that were happening in Humboldt County, his place of residence. Humboldt was recently ranked 54th out of 58 counties in California in terms of vaccination rates.

So why do some people choose not to get their children vaccinated? There appear to be several reasons.  According to The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the four most prevalent anti-vax philosophies are:

  1. Religious Reasons
  2. Personal Beliefs or Philosophical Reasons
  3. Safety Concerns
  4. Desire for Additional Education

According to a National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) survey, the top reasons for not getting a flu vaccine are:

36% feel they are healthy and do not need the shot.

31% do not like needles.

30% do not think it works.

27% worry about the risks.

While 70% believe it is vital to get an annual flu shot, only 46% say they typically get vaccinated.

Perhaps what is most troubling is that diseases that were once mainly under control are becoming more prevalent again.  Measles cases are on the rise.  The majority of people who get measles are unvaccinated.

Beyond the probable life-saving gains, vaccines have an economic benefit and cut medical costs throughout the world.  When diseases occur, more hospitalizations are the result.  The COVID-19 pandemic has added considerable costs and added higher risk to medical professionals.

Awwad realizes that one of the most effective means of communication is to take his knowledge to the community directly.  He has made several presentations in K-12 classrooms in Humboldt County.  (Most of these have been at the high school level.)  His approach helps young people become more educated about vaccines and encourages them to become involved in vaccine education and other current critical issues.

One of the most important local programs that Awwad became involved with was a vigorous vaccine education program at McKinleyville High School. He organized an Adolescent Immunization Poster Contest with the Humboldt County Department of Public Health and some local pediatricians.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the importance of developing a vaccine has come to the forefront.  Worldwide deaths have now reached over 600,000 people with several times more than that becoming ill.  Even those who make a full recovery from the Coronavirus may have long-term health effects.

Awwad looks at the present and the future to see how he can use his talents and energy.  Once a COVID-19 vaccine is released to the public, he would like to present a series of vaccine-related workshops and activities in schools and other places around Humboldt County.

As far as what comes next for Samy Awwad, the possibilities are endless.  He is one of thirty undergraduate fellows selected recently at Stanford’s chapter of an organization called “Effective Altruism.”  The goal for this two-month fellowship will be to identify the most pressing issues in the world and then decide how best to implement this resulting knowledge in his career.

Awwad plans to take a gap year to continue his work with ImmuniGlobal before enrolling full-time at Stanford.  The most likely path for him will be a future in medicine as a physician.  Another possibility is for Awwad to study and conduct research in the field of brain diseases.  He is always thinking several steps ahead and has several other irons in the fire unrelated to vaccinations.  He hopes to use his voice to help minorities and find ways to tackle important issues such as racism and classism.

I find great inspiration from Samy Awwad’s selfless acts to improve his community and make a difference throughout the world.  I can’t wait for the next chapter in his life, and I know that his teachers are all proud of the young man he has become.  If ever you doubt America’s youth, perhaps Samy and others like him will help change your mind.

84 thoughts on “An Impressive Young Man

  1. Such an inspiring young man! Thank you for sharing his story and accomplishments with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2020 — 4:40 pm

      It’s so exciting for me to see these young leaders of the future who are blazing the trail for others. I didn’t know much about this until recently, and it was such a pleasant surprise. The fact that he’s self-motivated will carry him far.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What an amazing young man, truly a global citizen and he’s so lucky to have you as a teacher , and you, him as your student.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2020 — 4:46 pm

      I’m not taking any credit here; this is all Samy’s doing. He is one of those people who isn’t going to let anything stand in his way. I love the concept of Effective Altruism.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, what a concept

        Liked by 2 people

  3. We undervalue what older or even younger teenagers can do, they can be a powerhouse of brains and creativity and the future should be in their hands! Well done to Samy’s parents and his teacher!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2020 — 4:51 pm

      He comes from a fantastic home, and that is not to be discounted. His older brother also graduated from high school a year early and received early admittance to Stanford. Samy’s leadership skills and independence are the foundation for someone who is going to change the world.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Pete,
    Young people like Awwad are inspiring. A phrase I have often seen describing teaching is that a teacher “touches the future.” Samy obviously had the good fortune to have very good parents, but I am sure teachers like you were instrumental in his early development as well. As you said, seeing your former students do well is one of the best benefits of being a teacher .I think Samy doing well is no surprise to anyone.
    I remember having coffee with you one day when a man came over to our table with his adult son who you had taught. The dad could not have been more appreciative of what you did for the boy, and credited you with helping him become a good adult. After they left, I remember you said that you had worked very hard with the boy when he was in your class, as he struggled academically. Meeting former students who are now adults who realize that you helped them overcome academic difficulties and deficiencies, has got to be one of the best feelings ever. I think that is the ultimate reward for a teacher. I also have to believe, that over your teaching career, that for every student you become aware of that you helped, there are probably many more for whom you helped accomplish similar things, but your aren’t aware of.
    Teachers like you are the real American heroes of today.
    Kent

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2020 — 5:03 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Kent. I know you impacted and were a positive influence with your 42+ years of educational service. A lot of people don’t have the stones to teach middle school, but after reading your book, I know we would have hit it off as educational partners. Your work with drug education is particularly inspiring.

      Students like Samy remind me that we’ve got to put our trust in this generation. They seldom let us down. It’s exciting to see these young leaders so motivated to do valuable work.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great reward for you to see his efforts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2020 — 6:10 pm

      Absolutely, John! I’m just impressed with his passion and commitment to make a difference in the world. It’s not the kind of thing you witness that often from someone so young.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An amazing young man and and an inspiration to us all! I think we’re in good hands all around, Pete… We’ve been blessed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 25, 2020 — 6:13 pm

      The fact that Samy organized this whole project on his own speaks to his commitment. He is looking at everything from a macro point of view while still seeing what he can do in his community.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What an impressive young leader. You should be proud of him, Pete. He looks really young and has accomplished so much already. How old is he by now?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 — 7:56 am

      I think he’s seventeen now. I can’t help but compare what I was doing at his age, but it’s not much of a comparison. I did not have his confidence, and I certainly lacked awareness of global events.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mark Zuckerberg is only 6 months older than my daughter. He was famous for Facebook at 26. I’m happy for your student’s success.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Our youth are not uneducated. In fact, each generation starts with a higher level of intelligence than the one prior. What they seem to lack, in general, is motivation. What we see in Samy’s story is a young man who has a purpose and an altruistic desire to make a difference. Combine those with a good education and the support of his family and community, and you end up with someone who can accomplish anything. Great post full of inspiration, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 — 8:11 am

      Well stated, Brad. Technology has brought about a lot of positive change in terms of young people connecting with others more easily and having more awareness of global issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story of a remarkable young man, Pete. Congratulations on your role in shaping his path. We teachers (indeed all of us) may never know the effect of the ripples we send out but, when we do, it’s amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 — 8:18 am

      I’m not going to discount the role of good teachers, but in this case, I think much of this story is a reflection of someone raised in a family who emphasizes the importance of education. This young man is fully aware of his opportunity, and he is going to take full advantage of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’ve just mentioned the three most important ingredients, Pete. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. wow – what an impressive young man. He is doing work that matters, and I wish him the best. Perhaps he will become the next Dr Fauci…

    thanks for sharing his story…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 — 8:19 am

      Dr. Awwad—that has a nice ring to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for him!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great post, Pete. Its wonderful to see a young person stepping up and doing something constructive like this with such enthusiasm.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 — 8:25 am

      The big picture for me is that Samy’s efforts are going to influence a lot of other young people. We all need role models, and he can become one for many others in his age group.

      Like

  12. An amazing young man, destined for an important future. I hope to hear more about him!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 — 8:47 am

      It feels like the start of something even more significant. Dreams can start small and continue to grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He’s definitely one who is turning his dream into reality. Hugely impressive.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, inspiring indeed! Samy is a wonderful representation of today’s youth. They’re generation will change the world ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 27, 2020 — 1:31 pm

      Isn’t he fabulous? Few things in life are more satisfying for me than to see former students doing incredible things and making their mark in the world. He has a wonderfully supportive family, but he deserves all the credit for having the courage to tackle relevant issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a great story! Samy is indeed a remarkable young man. I’m glad you had a chance to impact his life as well, because he is certainly impacting others. I could empathize with your comments about those ‘bad’ days when it seems like everything goes awry. I typically had them just before I taught a seminar to teachers or teaching assistants. Those dismal days served to humble me and I did a far better job of presenting than I would have without that misery!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 27, 2020 — 1:37 pm

      My only hesitation in writing articles like this is to create the impression that I had something to do with what Samy has done. I understand that as teachers, we are role models that can help students, but this young man has taken his God-given ability and has used it in incredible ways that will help change the world. That is not hyperbole—I believe it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know you believe that- and it shines through. On the other hand, Samy needed to be nurtured through this process and still does, really. And you were a perfect choice for him!

        Liked by 2 people

  15. How wonderful to hear about Samy! The non-profit, his Stanford future, and his vest for educating others are all going to take him far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 27, 2020 — 5:46 pm

      I know it makes me feel good because he was one of my students, but I’d appreciate his story even if he were not. Leaders come in all forms. You are empowering women through your blog, Christy. What a great thing! You should be proud of yourself.

      Like

  16. You must be bursting with pride at Samy. You know you had a big part in his development, because third grade is critical. That’s when the rubber meets the road; the bright kids soar and the kids who were struggling fall behind. I had children who went both ways. It was fascinating to talk with the principal of the elementary school who could ‘say it like it was’, in third grade.

    What an amazing person Samy is! He wouldn’t be where he was without a year with you. Bravo! And, taking a year or a semester off to work and figure out what you really want to do is something students in America need to do. This is commonplace in Europe.

    Hats off to Samy, and hats off to you Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 27, 2020 — 8:39 pm

      My only reservation about writing pieces like this is that people try to give me credit for his accomplishments. I know I’m preaching to the choir when it comes to realizing how impactful teachers can be in students’ lives, but this young man is the one who is moving mountains. The fact that he was able to envision this entire set of dreams and how to make them happen speaks volumes about his character. We all like a happy ending, and I feel like this is just one of the early chapters in what will be a lifetime of great achievements for Samy.

      When I taught his older brother, he showed the kids in the school (3rd grade also) how to solve the Rubik’s Cube for the Talent Show. When his classmates asked him how he figured it out so quickly, he said, “My dad taught me the algorithm.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand how you feel. You weren’t responsible for his accomplishments, yet you were a piece of the puzzle which allowed him to accomplish great things. I hope you continue to post about Samy as he continues on his path. That will help fellow teachers realize the difference a teacher can make.

        I love the Rubik’s Cube Story. Algorithms- wow!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Just wow and awe inspiring Pete. A brilliant mind that Samy is, we need lots of him and Gretas for better futures. You sound like a proud papa and you deserve it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 27, 2020 — 8:44 pm

      A proud papa is an accurate description of the way I feel about all my students. Many are not as academically gifted, and yet they still can be excellent fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, employees, and people. When you teach at the same school for thirty-one years, there are a lot of former students out there in the community. Most weeks, I run into one or more of them. I may not remember what I ate for dinner yesterday, but I never forget my students.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stay blessed Pete! A gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Dear Mr Springer ,
    This is Mohamed, Rami ,Samy and Salma’s dad. First of all, you are looking so good! We miss you so much and my family owes you a great deal of gratitude !
    I am usually not into social media and I am not a good writer as you will notice but I had to post to your blog out of respect to you and admiration for you and your blog! Besides that ,this relates to my kids Rami and Samy.
    I say it loud and clear that your influence as their teacher in 3rd grade at Pinehill elementary School is obvious to us .You gave our kids and all your other students the building blocks of a solid education and you taught them HOW to think rather than WHAT to think and that was a big secret recipe for your style in teaching, believe me I was watching you! You were preparing leaders for the future, not just having the students simply pass another grade!
    Mr Springer, you are a legend and you have always inspired me and my family as a kind, compassionate, intelligent person and teacher! and you have a great sense of humor! I am so inspired by your weight loss story and I will seek your help soon!
    My hats off to all the teachers at Pinehill,South Bay and Academy of the redwoods.
    And a special shout out to Mr And Mrs Moore who also had a tremendous influence on our kids’ education and life; we miss them a lot!
    My dad never went to school. He was poor and I grew up poor as well and even when I came to the States I was working more than one job during my college years

    I have been asked many times what our recipe is for raising the kids to be this successful!
    and my answer is simply that the credit goes to their mom. she dedicated her life to them and gave them the nourishing environment in all aspects .

    it’s simply Grit and hard work ,emphasizing standards more than rules , teaching our kids that Love and compassion are not feelings, but they are a choice, and setting the bar high!
    It’s also having my kids see through the window and not just look at themselves in the mirror.
    And teaching them that people are people regardless of any materialistic property ,color, religion ,etc..

    We had our kids excel in sports specifically along with academics.
    Sports are very important; do not underestimate them!
    I am saying things that sound too idealistic but they are true ,although we failed many times in getting the message through.
    We teach our kids to be themselves, to be comfortable with their background, and toughen their skin as much as possible we teach them that if they have a problem to deal with it with kindness and reasoning, instead of wining! of course, sometimes that doesn’t always work though !
    Making sure the family is bonded to enable our kids to reach out to others with confidence and self esteem, to offer help, and make a difference whenever and wherever they can is also so important in my opinion.
    I have a problem with the way we teach important values and lesson, but that’s just my personal opinion . I am against the idea that “everyone gets a trophy” in a tournament, for example.
    We have always struggled with teaching our kids to be selfless in an overly self centered self -absorbed world! But our kids need to know that giving is far more important than taking and buying things is not the only way to make them happy! practice this and do it! I am pro individual projects to ignite creativity it’s just a personal opinion and we are setting the bar too low for math in my opinion!
    We teach them at home to have big respect for their teachers and to take them seriously .we have been grateful for all the teachers at Pine hill , South Bay and AR

    Our kids are ordinary students, and we made sure they get their fun and normal life just like everyone else .They are avid soccer players, they play music, they have their share of travel, and most importantly they have been diligent readers all the time!
    to be a good writer you have to be a good reader!
    We do love to encourage all those things, but we do not succeed all the time! parenting teenagers these days is so hard and just like everyone else we have our share of struggles .we are humans and we fail! And sometimes, our kids have their own silly way of doing things silly ! at the end Rami and Samy take all the credit for their accomplishments ,they worked hard every step of the way to get where they are now
    Sorry for the lengthy post, but in the words of my alma mater USC ,Fight On!
    Mr Springer,Keep blogging ,writing , keep amazing us and stay well !
    mohamed Awwad

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 8:55 am

      Hello Mohamed,

      It is so good to hear from you. First off, thanks for all of your kind words. It means a lot to teachers when they feel they have earned the respect of their students’ parents. Trying to manage a classroom of kids with different academic abilities and behaviors can be a challenge. Having the support of a parent goes a long way in the educational process. One of my older brothers was also a teacher, and he used an analogy comparing education to a three-legged stool with the legs being the teacher, the administration, and the home environment.

      Your wife has a great deal to do with your children’s success as a nurturing mother, but don’t sell yourself short in your role. You always put an emphasis on the importance of education, and your kids learned this valuable lesson. Words are important, but I believe in the motto that “actions speak louder than words.” When children watch a parent working hard, they learn the value of hard work. Your story is equally inspiring. There is no better role model for children than their parents. The flip side of that coin is it can be so heartbreaking when you see a child with so much potential who doesn’t have positive role models at home to learn from.

      Let me assure you, your kids are far from normal in terms of their academic abilities and humble attitudes. What makes them stand out above many children their age is their altruistic nature. Some young people can not get past a “what’s in it for me” attitude.

      All of my best to Rami, Samy, and Salma. Take a bow, Mo!

      Sincerely,
      Pete Springer

      P.S. I’m in contact with the Moores, and I will be sure and pass on your thoughts about them. It was an honor to work with such dedicated people.

      Like

  19. What an amazing young man – and what he does is so worthwhile, especially at the moment. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 27, 2020 — 11:55 pm

      As if vaccines needed more attention, COVID-19 came along. It’s crazy what a large percentage of people say they won’t get vaccinated when it becomes available.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s frightening – and crazy. Toni

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    An inspiring story from Pete Springer about one of his pupils who at only 16 has become an global advocate for vaccinations to prevent diseases such as measles. Do please head over to read his extraordinary story and there are two videos that are important for all parents to watch who might have reservations about vaccines. #ecommended

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 7:35 am

      I appreciate the reblog, Sally. Sometimes years pass without me knowing what my students are accomplishing. Talk about a marvelous surprise. Let science rule!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. What an inspiring young man and thank you for sharing Pete… I am sure we will be hearing a great deal more about his work in years to come and many lives will be saved by his dedication and forward thinking..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 7:46 am

      I am quite sure you are right, Sally. Anytime a student reaches his/her potential, it brings me great satisfaction. Samy is too modest to heap attention on himself, but his story is worth telling because who knows the countless other individuals who will be inspired by his actions?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many I hope Pete.. demonstrating that you don’t need to be billionaire to make an impact on the world.x

        Liked by 1 person

  22. As well as good teachers, so important too is parents’ input in these young lives. Obviously Samy has had parents who have encouraged him in his endeavours. I’m sure he will go far.

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 7:50 am

      Thank you for reinforcing that point, Stevie. It is no accident that Samy and others like him have turned out so well. Coming from a stable and loving home makes all the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 7:52 am

      Thanks so much for the reblog. I’m pleased that so many others are inspired by Samy’s story.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Wow, Pete. That’s awesome. I can see why you’re so proud of Samy and were delighted to be part of his journey. He’s pretty amazing. I am one of those people who haven’t gotten flu shots in the past, but my view of this whole virus business has definitely changed. Samy provides a valuable service and will save lives. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 8:01 am

      All vaccinations need to be thoroughly vetted. Certainly, caution is understandable. Yet, without the importance of research and medicine, we see the results. I read a startling statistic recently (sorry, I can’t remember where) that said that over 30% of the population would choose not to be vaccinated if and when a COVID-19 vaccination is developed. That blows my mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. An inspiring young man, indeed. You must be so proud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 8:20 am

      Absolutely! Thanks for dropping by, Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I am impressed by our youth, and this young man is an excellent example. Thanks for sharing his tory and links to his cause.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 12:44 pm

      I’m not ready to be put out to pasture quite yet, but it sure is comforting to know that there’re are young minds who are thinking about what they can do to improve their communities.

      Like

  26. Thank you for sharing this, Pete! What a wonderful story, and a great honour for you as his former teacher too.Congratulations! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 12:40 pm

      I think young people are too often labeled as being self-centered. My experience is that they’re smart, great problem-solvers, and pay attention to what is happening in the world. Thanks for dropping in, Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true, Pete! They need teacher like you, Jennie who take them becoming best members of community too. Enjoy your day. Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 1:39 pm

        Jennie is the best! I would have loved to have worked with her because she truly understands what children need.

        Like

  27. Hey, Pete. I almost never follow up on some random soul who likes one of my posts. So glad I did today. I’m a retired elementary school principal, and before that I taught in high school and served on an urban school board. And now I’m an author. Lots of lives if we’re lucky. Loved the story of your young man. What an inspiration. Thank you for working in elementary schools. Kids are crying out for men role models. You seem to already have a good following for your blog here. Good for you. Best to your in your writing career. Never give up.

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 2:23 pm

      Thanks, Marsha. Well, that was weird. I was writing to you simultaneously. Retirement has allowed me the freedom to try new things, and it’s been a kick trying my hand at writing. I wrote a book for future teachers (unplanned), but now I’m following my dream. I’m not that far along in my new life as I’ve got too many irons in the fire. How did we ever find time to work?🤣 I’m going over my first children’s novel (middle grades, which is the age I know best) with my critique group right now. Thanks for reaching out. I’ll go back and take a closer look at your books now. Why not? I’ve already got twenty others waiting for me on my Kindle.

      Like

  28. Thank you for sharing Awwad’s story. The world needs him, and he has answered the call.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 6:52 pm

      Thank you, Liz. I’m glad that his story has connected with so many others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope his message is being heeded.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. What an impressive young man and so self-motivated…I don’t blame you for feeling proud of having taught him and of having had some influence on shaping his future …With youngsters like these, we should have no fear for the future generations …A lovely post, Pete 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 28, 2020 — 10:00 pm

      As someone who cares about the future, I thought this post might resonate with you, Carol. His older brother and younger sister are special people, too.

      Like

  30. An amazing young man, and his message re vaccination couldn’t have come at a more relevant time!

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor July 31, 2020 — 7:46 am

      Agreed! There are so many misconceptions about vaccinations. It’s so crucial that any new vaccine is tested and retested many times over before it’s approved, but it’s hard to argue with saving lives. Thank you for your comment, Alex.

      Like

  31. A wonderful young man with a bright future ahead of him. I hope his project goes from strength to strength. Vaccines are so important in the prevention of many devastating illnesses but not everybody is aware of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 1, 2020 — 2:23 pm

      I think the most significant factor seems to be with education and helping people understand that the benefits outweigh the risks. It’s heartbreaking to see children die because their parents made a choice no to have them vaccinated. Thanks for checking in, Olga.

      Like

  32. A marvelous post, Pete. Kudos to Awwad too. Hugs all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 5, 2020 — 9:35 am

      After teaching for so long, there are a lot of former students spread out across the globe. At times, the places their lives have taken them is entirely unexpected. I can’t say that in this case, but my pride factor is still off the charts.

      Like

  33. Okay, a great teacher feedback moment for sure…but also a great testament to the fact that education dispels the weird fear of science/vaccines instead puts it on a level with: let’s find out the source material for this or that finding…and guess what, base decisions to vaccinate or not based upon that instead of weird anti-science hoopla.
    Just my 2cents’
    Again, you should be proud, teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 9, 2020 — 6:10 pm

      No arguments from me, Laura. There was a time (let’s hope that hasn’t passed us by) that thoughtful decisions were made based on science. In an era where conspiracy theories are running at an all-time high, we need to let science rule the day.

      As far as my students, I’m proud of all of their accomplishments. It’s really the icing on the cake in what was an excellent career.

      Liked by 1 person

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