“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

-Oscar Wilde

 

Dreamers are rare to come across.

Dreamers are people who think of the world through a different approach and can think their way through a problem in a method we wouldn’t expect.

This quote reminds me of one person who I think of every Teacher Appreciation Day.

Truthfully, I think of her quite a bit. I think of her smile, her laugh and well, her.

She is a super remarkable sort of dreamer that transformed my black and white world into a vividly colorful one.

As I hid under the desk with my friend, afraid we’d be swept away to dance (I’m horrible at dancing and I didn’t want to embarrass myself), my teacher played “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival in order to get the class excited for our approaching state standardized testing.

That is dreamer worthy. That is dream maker worthy. That is inspiration worthy.

When I think of Mrs. Melanie Collins, I smile immediately. I always remember she was a very positive teacher in my 4th grade classroom at NPI.

She played songs when the class needed some boosting, stuck up for kids who needed to be stuck up for, and taught us more than Science, but how to be our best selves. She has high standards and somehow she gets you to want to reach them all. I think Mrs. Collins was, and still is, a great person in general. The kind of dreamer I hope I can be when I grow up. She’s beautiful, and I’m not talking about how pretty she is (even though she is super pretty). She’s the kind of person who rejoices in other’s accomplishments, and doesn’t take any credit even when she deserves it! Yes, she is the best kind of dreamer; a dreamer that teaches children to believe in their own dreams.

Mrs. Collins grew up in the south side of Scranton. She enjoys reading, taking walks, being with her family, and teaching her fourth grade class. She is married and has a son named Jace (he’s so cute.)Her favorite actor is Tom Hanks, her favorite book is “The Lord of the Flies.”

I made my first connection with Mrs. Collins when I gave her a riddle. I am an enormous fan of riddles, and when I asked Mrs. Collins if she wanted to try to solve one, she agreed!

I was surprised because usually people don’t want to even try any riddles. But my Mrs. Collins actually wanted to have one! (That’s what I call her, my Mrs. Collins.) From there on out, Mrs. Collins made me into a dreamer.

This was the first riddle I gave to Mrs. Collins: “Thirty white horses on a red hill,

Frist they champ,

Then stamp,

Then they stand still”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

I don’t think I know any kid who doesn’t like Mrs. Collins.

When the very creative teacher showed her students how to do a cool project, those children showed more children in different classes and the different children showed even more children, so on and so forth.

She is a dreamer chain reaction starter! This proves that even the children who didn’t have Mrs. Collins liked her.

One of the projects that all the 4th grade children liked was when we made pan flutes out of straws!

I absolutely loved doing that and all the kids were trying to make their own at home. In her class, the other children and I practiced songs together to then afterwards have a performance for the teacher.

Sometimes, she would tell us about how she was an actress in New York. We were all fascinated to hear about her stories on soap operas and in plays.

I remember one story in particular. She was told to sit and pretend to be talking and having a meal at a restaurant. She showed us and it was very convincing! She is a very good actor and can do many accents very well. Her first play in college was “All My Sons”, which had a great impact on her indeed.

When I asked why she wanted to teach, she said that she just loved to teach and had a thing for it, which she does.

“I actually went to work at a daycare center, and I knew that teaching was what I wanted to do as soon as I walked in,” she says.

If you think about it a good teacher can explain things, but a really good teacher can explain those same things many different ways, and an excellent teacher makes it so you don’t realize it’s hard. I’d say it sounds a whole lot like acting really; acting with a message, acting with knowledge sharing.

“You never really understand a person until consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

-Harper Lee, To Kill A Mocking Bird

My dad tells my brothers and I that everyone you meet has something to teach you.

I agree with that, good or bad, we can learn something from everyone we encounter. BUT…it’s not every encounter, not every person who creates a learner, creates the desire to learn, creates a dreamer.

I was lucky enough to find one. My Mrs. Collins!

We all have amazing teachers we will always remember. Find a fun way to tell them Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Day, thank them. Remember every profession started with a teacher!

Who knows maybe someday I’ll inspire someone to be a dreamer, too.

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Day, Mrs. Collins! You made me believe in my dreams! You understood that I’m much more than what I might think I am.

You made me think that I can do whatever I put my mind to.