August 12, 2005 1 min read

“It turns out that the best people to teach inmates are former inmates who are in recovery.”

—Bob Feldman, a manager at California’s Santa Clara County Department of Correction, about teacher Michelle Delk, whose decade-old felony convictions give her credibility with her inmate students but make it impossible for her to earn the credential she needs to keep teaching. Feldman said men in Delk’s class were in tears when told she couldn’t return.

“I hate my class at times like this.”

—From a Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, public school teacher’s two-page essay about his 4th grade students, each of whom received a copy. The district is withholding the name of the educator, who, according to the essay, was upset at his class’s disobedience during a spelling bee.

“Every time we do this, one of the [high school] teachers says to me, ‘This is one of the great weekends of my life.’ ”

—Morton Owen Schapiro, president of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on the recognition four high school teachers get at its graduation every year. Williams seniors nominate secondary school teachers who had a profound impact on their lives, and a committee chooses the four most inspiring educators. Each is given $2,000, plus a $1,000 donation to his or her high school, and is flown to the college to be honored as part of graduation weekend.

“We’re catalysts for your enlightenment, and your illumination/ the rebirth, the renaissance, we’re generating/ We amplify, aliens can hear our rhymes in the sky/ we alienate those who don’t like the volume too high.”

—From “Flocabulary,” a rap tune written and recorded by tutor Blake “Escher” Harrison and cell phone ring-tone composer Alex Rappaport, both from Massachusetts, to help students learn SAT words.