Remembering Christa McAuliffe

January 31, 2011

Twenty five years ago

While going through boxes to clear out an area of my workspace earlier this month I came upon the cover of a Life magazine I had saved on the 10 year anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I had mixed emotions as I read the articles this past week remembering the Challenger disaster from 25 years ago. I followed Christa McAuliffe’s story when she was selected to be the first teacher in space and was so proud that she was representing our profession as the first teacher in space. She was a passionate and highly dedicated teacher whose priority was students. It wasn’t about the content she taught but her focus was on the learning. In fact, I had forgotten that she was a social studies teacher and not math or science.

When I think about the impact she had made before and after the disaster I often wonder what it would have been like if the mission ended in success. Would Christa still be teaching today? Would the Challenger Learning Centers be built where 400,000 students have participated in simulated space missions?  I realize they are questions that can’t be answered. What I do know is that outstanding teachers are the key to good education. The relationship good teachers have with each student is a priority.

While I remember watching on TV in disbelief from that day I also remember her smiling face and am grateful that I continue to be inspired by someone I admired. You can read the article from Education Week, January 20, 2011 by clicking here.


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