Kathleen Tolan

These pictures hang in my classroom directly across the room from my teacher chair.img_7697

As I teach my mini-lessons, I can look beyond the heads of my students and see MY teachers reminding me how best to teach. And of course, Kathleen Tolan honors my wall.

She was my large group section teacher during my first Reading Institute in 2011.

Because of her, I work on my reading life. Because of her, I am not just a plot reader but a reader who can talk more deeply about the story with my book club. Because of her, I can plan a strong interactive read-aloud and guide a strong discussion.

I just clicked on TCRWP home page to read Lucy’s tribute and I learned that Kathleen was 53 years old. I am 53 years old. Kathleen will continue to hang on my classroom wall. But, now I have a much stronger urge to be the best reading teacher I can, for as long as I can. I’ll show my thanks to Kathleen daily through my continued effort to be the best I can for my students.

3 thoughts on “Kathleen Tolan

  1. mgminer says:

    Perfectly said. I, too, was changed by Kathleen’s teaching. She could pack more in 45 minutes than many could teach over months. And she made it fun! Such a loss. Thank you for putting into words the feelings I, and so many others, have had.


  2. carwilc says:

    So sorry about your loss. I love the idea of hanging quotes up like this– I think it would help me remember who I am as a teacher! I want to try this!


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