No, this is not me. Yet. But when do I stop teaching? I am still passionate about what I do. I still learn more with every student, every lesson. I especially learn more through my failures. Thank you, TEACH.org, for reminding me of how wonderful it is to be a teacher!
A Mighty Girl Agnes Zhelesnik — the oldest known working teacher in America — turned 101 years old this month! Zhelesnik, known as “Granny” to her students, started teaching at the Sundance School in New Jersey at the age of 81, after decades working as a homemaker and raising her three children. Now, a great-grandmother to four, she works full-time as the school’s home economics teacher and teaches children cooking, sewing, and costume-making. To mark this special occasion, the school threw “Granny” a huge birthday party and hundreds of children sang happy birthday to their beloved guest of honor. When asked about the secret to her longevity, Zhelesnik stated, “I suppose it’s the children. It’s a great life watching children grow up.” And, as for why she chose to take a job when most people are already far into retirement, she added, “I don’t know why people don’t want to work. I think it’s important to get out and do something, and I enjoy cooking with the kids. I am healthy enough and I’m able to do it and I think an able person should do something, and helping kids is what I like to do… What else is there in life? Children make the whole world.” On her 99th birthday two years ago, Zhelesnik said that she might retire when she turned 100 — but so far, she doesn’t show any sign of slowing down! A Mighty Girl wishes “Granny” Zhelesnik a very happy birthday and all the best! May she continue to bring light and joy to children’s lives for many years to come. For several excellent books for young readers on the value that teachers and education bring to our lives, visit our blog post on “15 Stories on Mighty Girls’ Adventures at School” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=4317 For books for children and teens about the special relationship between Mighty Girls and their teachers, visit our “Teacher” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/personal-development/relationships?cat=264 And, for our favorite Mighty Girl stories about grandparents & granddaughters, check out the reading recommendations in our post, “Mighty Girls and their Grandparents: Stories for Celebrating Grandparents” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=4449 Photo credit: The Sundance School