Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Letter to a Teacher by Author Cleo Lampos

A warm welcome, Cleo. So glad to have you. Readers, enjoy her post today and be sure to check out her books.

Have you ever written a letter to a teacher who made an impact on your life? I have.

Several years ago, while attending a family reunion, one of my cousins shared that Mae Erie, my second and third grade teacher, asked about “those Meiners girls.” Many months later, my sister found Mrs. Erie on the internet, and I composed a letter of thanks to her for being the firm and fair teacher in a one-room country school in Iowa. The letter described my love of books, for Mrs. Erie read aloud to the class every day. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, changed many of my attitudes as a second grader.. Mornings started with the Lord’s Prayer, the Pledge to the Flag, and recitations of both the Preamble to the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address, giving a moral foundation to the entire school. Most of all, Mrs. Erie treated each student with respect and great expectations.

In the cases of my older sister and me, Mrs. Erie’s belief in our abilities became critical to our later success in life. Our father had died when we were preschoolers, and our mother married a man who drank excessively. We lived in an uninsulated chicken house with no running water. Mrs. Erie gave us winter coats so the two-mile walk in Iowa winter weather could be tolerable. She told us that we were creative and smart.

My letter arrived a bit late for Mae Erie. Her daughter took the mail to the nursing home where she lived in the dementia ward. The entire staff heard the letter and posted it on the bulletin board so all visitors could read of the beloved teacher. Mrs. Erie’s daughter wrote back that during all the years that Mae was lucid, she prayed for “those Meiners girls”. She would have been proud to know that we both have Masters Degrees and have taught in the field of Special Education. Mae Erie’s prayers were answered because God did watch over two girls in difficult circumstances.

Have you ever written a letter to a teacher? I wish I had done so sooner.


Cleo Lampos attended eight schools in three states before graduating from Fort Atkinson High School in Wisconsin. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a Master’s in Education from St. Xavier University in Chicago. For twenty-six years, she taught in a district described as “an urban school in a suburban setting.” From her experiences as a teacher in both the regular education and special education classrooms, she has written a devotional book for teachers. Teaching Diamonds in the Tough: Mining the Potential in Every Child is a series of vignettes designed to inspire any adult who teaches children in Sunday School, clubs or classrooms to delve beyond the behavior of children to their potential. Coupled with Scripture, quotes and a suggested plan, the book challenges the reader to action. Lampos also authored Grandpa’s Remembering Book, which describes a family-friendly strategy to utilize with a person with dementia.

To buy her "Teaching Diamonds" book go here:
To buy her "Grandpa's" book, go here:

Tell Lampos about your favorite teacher. She may be reached at or her website:


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