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Gonzales Weekly Citizen - Gonzales, LA
  • My Shout: Teaching outside the box

  • I received a telephone call this morning from a teacher at Gonzales Middle School, Carla Duplechin.


    Carla is a Special Needs teacher within our parish, and was calling to tell me that every Friday, her class gets together and they read my column.


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  • I received a telephone call this morning from a teacher at Gonzales Middle School, Carla Duplechin.
    Carla is a Special Needs teacher within our parish, and was calling to tell me that every Friday, her class gets together and they read my column.
    So far their favorite has been the one about my trip to the dentist, but they apparently have enjoyed them all and look forward to reading them each week.
    Ms. Duplechin's class read them and discuss them as a group, and the idea of that made me start thinking about something.
    I am thrilled to see that students within our community are using external resources for study.?
    Granted my columns can often be tongue in cheek, and very rarely are they what most would call news worthy, but I do try to make people more aware of their surroundings and what’s going on right in their very backyards.
    I remember when I was in school. I had teachers. like Carla, who saw the importance in not solely learning from the textbooks made ready by each class.
    I had a number of teachers who wanted us to think outside the box, so to speak.?They encouraged us to look for information that would talk to us in some way.
    Those teachers wanted us to be free thinkers, and make our own minds up about things, and to get as much information from as many sources as possible.
    I never really realized until now just how thankful?I am for that.
    I’ve been taught by some wonderful teachers who have appreciated my need and desire for the most wonderful gift of an opinion.
    Those teachers allowed me to grow, not just academically, but also socially.?They egged me on as I made my own mind up about things, and felt free discussing them.
    I remember clearly Mrs. Wyble. She was my third grade English teacher at St. Edmund's (St. Ed’s to those of us who went there) in?Eunice, Louisiana.
    After my conversation with Carla, I think she and Mrs.?Wyble would have become fast friends and wonderful cohorts in the world of academia.
    Mrs.?Wyble brought a newspaper to school every single Wednesday. She didn’t bring a national one that was always at the ready, but she brought our local Eunice paper, and she talked to us, not at us, about what was going on in our own community.
    I loved that woman, and I cherished the time in her class, always anxiously awaiting Wednesday.
    We would talk about what was being done in local government. We would discuss plans for new parks. We would be interested in what stores were opening in our area. We even knew the names of our Police and Fire Chiefs.?Remember, we were only in the third grade, but Mrs. Wyble and her local newspaper made us feel from an early age that we were a part of our community, and that the opinions we had about that community were of the utmost importance.
    Page 2 of 2 - In writing this, it has just come to me that as Mrs.?Wyble was well into her 60s in 1977, as I sat in her class some 30 plus years ago, that chances are she is gone now. No more does she teach the future that reading local content in a local paper, and voicing your opinion about it is important.
    She lives on in this next generation, though, with teachers like Carla. She lives on in the men and women who everyday strive to assist the future of Ascension, and remind them that their opinions matter.
    Charlotte Guedry is Editor of the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. You can reach her by emailing
    editor@weeklycitizen.com

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