In my life I have been fortunate to have had many great teachers. I remember Mr. Shepard, my second grade teacher. I didn’t know it then but he was the very definition of a hippy. He, quite frankly, didn’t look or act like any teacher I had ever had. He wore jeans, had long hair, and did projects where we got dirty. He would read aloud to us every day and as a reluctant reader made stories spill off the pages in ways that made me think about the characters in the book long after the school day was over. I would get to school early just to ask what was going to happen next. Mr. Shepard was one of my first inspirations for thinking that maybe teaching could be different, maybe I could possible learn. Before him I am not sure I believed I could. In a lot of ways Mr. Shepard prepared me to meet the person who I believe has been one of my greatest teachers. It would be 24 years since I left Mr. Shepard’s class. Somewhere inside of me I remembered the essence of what he taught me, ‘I could be a learner.’ The first