Abbie Mood on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and High-Quality Preschool

Noodle Expert Abbie Mood shares what she could learn from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and why high-quality preschool is so important.

Who would you pick, alive or dead, to be your teacher for a year? What would you want to learn?

Oh, such a good question! I would probably choose Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Every time I read something of his, it makes me question myself and expands my thinking about equality. He is such a great model for peacefully standing up for what you believe in, and I would love to pick his brain about how we could create a better world.

What is one small piece of advice that has had a big impact on your life?

Don't waste your time on things that aren't important — and very few things we worry about are actually important.

Where would you send a student who hasn’t traveled before?

If this student is feeling particularly nervous about traveling abroad, maybe start with another part of the country or somewhere in Europe where there will be people who speak English, but where the culture will provide new experiences. For the more adventurous, I would say go wherever she feels drawn or has a cultural interest.

When was a time that you failed academically, and what did you learn from the experience?

I actually failed "Math for Elementary Education" the first time I took the course. It was a really difficult class! In it, I realized that teaching isn't just reiterating information for students to memorize, but that to be an effective teacher, you have to really know the methodology and concepts behind the material, even practices as simple as addition and subtraction.

Why did you go into your field, and how is it different from what you expected?

I became a teacher for the same reason many people do — to make a difference. I strongly believe in early intervention and that a high-quality preschool program can set children up for lifelong success (and the research supports that!). I became a writer because I wanted to reach a broader audience. Both are different than what I expected because everything looks much easier in the job description than it actually is day to day!

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