Published by The Advocacy Committee of the
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Substitute Teacher Tells History Firsthand

The New York Times (New York, New York) , April 4, 2007


On any given day in the United States, about 274,000 people report for work as substitute teachers. Arnold Blume, 81, who retired in 1983 after 29 years teaching English and social studies and has generally substituted four days a week at Great Neck North Middle School for the past two decades, may or may not be the oldest.

He is the only person whom Lena Ferreira, a 13-year-old eighth grader, ever met who can tell you what it was like listening to the radio with his mother the day Franklin Delano Roosevelt made that inaugural speech in which he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

“He made me love social studies,” said Angelique Dedvukovic, 13. “A lot of kids don’t know how life used to be harder. He tells you about how it wasn’t always like this. Because he lived through it.”

Subjects Covered: education, personal storytelling

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