Star Jones

Star Jones
Have you met Miss Jones?


Mentor Monday: Teachers

Even as a little girl in a small town in North Carolina, I knew that education would be my path to the future.  Little did I know that my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Melba Uzzell would be the example I would use as inspiration for the rest of my life.  Like all children I learned the basics in 3rd grade; but Mrs. Uzzell was different.  Her love for teaching and her constant encouragement of her students to dream outside of our circumstances made me want to excel. She made me care about learning and taught me that where I couldn't necessarily go physically just yet...I could go in a book every single day.  

So over the years, that's exactly what I did.  I walked along Avenue des Champs-Élysées on my first "trip" to a book.  I rode my first camel in the land of a book.  I swung through the rainforest in Central America, flew in a helicopter over the Mediterranean in the South of France, thanked  Abraham Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation  and wore a Chanel suit...for the first time...all in a book.  I learned to allow my imagination to take me places where my resources and circumstances couldn't always take me; and I got that from my 3rd grade teacher.  

Thank you Mrs. Uzzell for fostering this young girl's imagination through education.  I have been blessed enough to actually experience some of these amazing things throughout my adult life; and they were as beautiful and exciting as the first time I experienced them in my "mind's eye."  Your inspiration helped me  grow into the adventurous inquisitive seeker of knowledge that I am today.  This is for you and all the other teachers who prepare the next generation for the world...

A Loving Teacher

Things our grown-up mind defies
Appear as giants in children's eyes.
A gentle touch upon her head
A simple word when kindly said.
Complete attention when she calls.
Her knowing you have given all.
Correcting in a loving way.
Instilling trust in what you say.

Making her believe unique
The tiny flaw upon her cheek.
Admiring old and faded dresses.
Reminding her we all make messes.
Words of comfort you've softly spoken
A promise you've made she knows won't be broken.
Your knowing her doll that was lost today
Is just as important as bills you can't pay.

Helping make her plans and schemes
Giving her hope and building her dreams.
All of this and so much more
Is in her mind forever stored.
They who touch her life awhile
Can either make or break that child.
Education is important, true, 

But so much more, her faith in you.
You've weathered through the storm and strife;
You helped to build a small girl's life.
You're truly one to be admired.
For you gave more than was required.

By Pat McClain

If you want more information on books that can take you (or your children) to the places I've described...just click on the highlighted words in the text.  I've linked some of my favorites.


  1. Star Jones you are absolutely awesome! I am a teacher and it is nice to read positive things about my profession. And you are absolutely correct. I don't own a passport, but I do own lots of books!!!!

  2. We could all use a little more positivity in the world, i suppose. cheers,

  3. I can so relate to what you say about teachers and books, perhaps the most powerful influences in my life.

    I remember that Mrs. Budow taught me to that love eeryone regardless of color or creed was a real possibility. She showed me through her actions. And like you, I traveled the world and the seven seas in my books before going there physically.

    Without both teachers and books our worlds are so much more insular. I am thankful for both.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. THANK YOU, STAR! I have been teaching for twenty years and every year it gets even harder to stay in the classroom due to lack of support, low pay and student/parent apathy, especially in our community. I love what I do, but at times I do not love going to work. In fact I have tried to walk away a couple of times but I miss the kids and I come back one more time. Each time I see one life change for the better, I realize that mine is the greatest profession in the world!


Your comments are welcome as long as they are in keeping with the spirit of this blog. They must be positive about your life, your community, our nation or our world. They must elevate...not denigrate...and if you criticize me or my position...state your name and email address so I know who you are and can address you directly. My rules. Star