“You met John Glenn?”

“You met John Glenn? Can I tell the class that?” I asked my mom’s friend. My mom and her friend, Flo, had come to my classroom for my Opinion Publishing Party. I like to have parents and friends come to hear our speeches. One of my student’s bold and brave thesis statement was “Mrs. Donnelly is the best teacher” and I told her how I couldn’t wait for my mom to hear her deliver her speech.

Minutes before, I had heard, “She’s here!” shrieked by my student holding my cell phone. I had given her my phone with instructions to go greet my mom once she texted saying she had arrived. She held my badge to activate the elevator and off she went. My mom is 82 years old and gets around fine. But my classroom is on the 2nd floor so I like to treat her to an elevator ride when she is visiting my school for events. Today she brought her friend from church who is a retired Arlington County teacher to see my new Arlington school and enjoy the Publishing Party.

As I was taking their coats, my mom took my breath away by whispering, “Flo told me that when she was teaching at Jamestown, she taught John Glenn’s kids!”

The reason this took my breath away is because our school is named after John Glenn. On our website, it explains:

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 8.34.17 PM.png

Because of this, my students know John Glenn’s story well. Also, the movie Hidden Figures has further helped us all to know this great man and his space mission.

Now this older women, tagging along with my mom today, was telling me she had the privilege of teaching the kids of John Glenn! I asked Flo if I could tell the class and she agreed. My voice got shaky as I introduced my mom’s friend and shared her connection to our school’s mascot. We all got goosebumps as she told us that after he circled the Earth, John Glenn visited her classroom with his astronaut uniform. What a show-n-tell day that must have been!

I love bringing together students and parents and grandparents for Publishing Parties. My mom’s friend, Flo, got our party off to a great start with a powerful story of her own!


7 thoughts on ““You met John Glenn?”

  1. msosterman49 says:

    This is fantastic! But, then again every celebration party I have witnessed under your direction as been fantastic. Think about this one. For the rest of their lives this group of writers will see Glen as a real human being and not a set of words or pictures. Way to go GREAT teacher!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frances A Mccrackin says:

    I agree- it is so easy for kids to know something but not quite believe it. The more John Glenn becomes a real person to them, the more they will know they can become another great explorer themselves!
    You are so good at making the world larger and more alive for your students. And I love that they are reading their opinion pieces to different generations.


  3. Ms Victor Reads says:

    What a great connection to be able to share with your class. Nice that you have a tradition of inviting outside guests to your publishing parties. We celebrated our opinion writing unit on Friday too:) What is next for you? We move on to poetry.


  4. quotesphotosandwonders says:

    You have so much energy, excitement, and knowledge that you share with your students every day. They will remember their third grade year because of all that you share with them every day! So glad to be there to witness your excitement!


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