Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

Teacher’s Pets: Teacher – Writer



I read tons of books to my class. We loved to discuss them. As soon as I finished reading a book and the clapping had ceased, I’d ask. “Well, what did you notice?” Marc Brown hid his children’s names, Tolen, Tucker, and Elisa in the illustrations of his “ARTHUR” books. Tomie DePaola usually placed a little pink heart or a small white dove on every page of his books, example STREGA NONA. In THE NAPPING HOUSE by Audrey & Don Wood, it’s always fun to watch the circular movement of the mouse as each character naps, then awakes. But without an observing eye, these nuances would be left unnoticed. It was my job as a teacher for nearly thirty years to spark my student’s interest to look between the lines and … between the pictures.


I wrote every day with my students and they got to write too. It was such fun to watch them grow as writers. Many began only able to write a few letters, perhaps their names or the words mom or dad, or maybe a brother or sister’s name. But within a few months, they could string several sentences together to make short paragraphs. They were becoming expert writers.


Well … that was the best!

(Clip Art compliments of


October 1, 2011 - Posted by | Teacher's Pets: Book Reviews | , , , , , , , ,


  1. There are those, like you and I, who must write. It is a force within them. I think it is a powerful form of communication both to the world and to ourselves that is so often underrated.

    Comment by 3by3 writing method | October 1, 2011 | Reply

    • SBBrown,

      Thank you for reading and thank you for your comment.

      I agree! There is something in some of us that makes us write. I often marvel at where the words and ideas come from, but they do come. Sometimes they pour out and more often they leak in dribs and drabs. Then again there are times when they must be yanked out of the deep, depths of our minds. But, still, we write!

      All best,

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 1, 2011 | Reply

  2. There should be more teachers like you. Happy retirement.


    Comment by Roxyanne Young | October 1, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi Roxy,

    Thank you for saying that!

    Teaching and writing are my two passions in life outside of my family. While I was teaching, I integrated my writing into my classroom. Now that I am retired, I will weave my teaching experiences into my writing.

    I am hoping to write a book for elementary education students in colleges (pre-teachers) and a handbook for 1st year elementary teachers. Of course, that is on the back burner until I finish the memoir about David’s TBI (traumatic brain injury.)

    And yes, I haven’t forgotten your words. I have them tucked away in the recesses of my mind. Someday I will look to see how to publish my book reviews. Ideally, I would like to write reviews for a publisher or a column in a newspaper. We’ll see.


    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 1, 2011 | Reply

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