Letters: New Dollar Coins, Good Teachers, Stuttering

We hear comments from listeners on our conversation about the unveiling of new dollar coins featuring all the U.S. presidents and our story on the value of getting teachers board-certified. We also hear about a memory prompted by our speech-impediment sound clip from Daron Bolat of Rockville, Md.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Thursday is the day we read from your e-mail, and we're going to start with a Thanksgiving note of gratitude to some listeners who wrote in to point out an error on yesterday's program. While describing the Thanksgiving travel rush, we mentioned Interstate 40 and said it is known as The National Road. Well, it does stretch across the country, but as David Backland(ph) of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and others point out, U.S. Route 40 is The National Road.

Judging from our inbox, there were lots of coin collectors listening this week. My colleague Robert Siegel spoke with Rod Gillis of the American Numismatic Association about new dollar coins the Mint is introducing. They'll feature all the presidents, and the government hopes they will eventually replace dollar bills.

Charles Roland of Richmond, Virginia, doesn't buy it. He writes, "The Mint turns metal, worth little, into collectables that are horded by the public. If the government really wanted to switch from paper dollars to dollar coins, they would eliminate the paper dollars altogether, as they did in Canada and in England."

Our story on the drive to get more teachers board certified and one teacher's effort to make the grade caught the ear of middle school principal Barb Ide of Nashville, Tennessee. She writes, "While sitting in my school office on a day off, trying to get out from under my paperwork, I stopped to listen to the story of Ms. Celestino's national board certification. Kudos to her effort to achieve this goal. After 33 years in education, I believe the most overlooked criteria is time for teachers to analyze their own effectiveness and adjust instruction based on those results."

We featured a sound clip this week from a man who's the youth director at his church.

Mr. DARON BOLAT: (Stuttering) I think I'm a very effective communicator, but saying my name is something that I always have trouble with. Daron Bolat.

NORRIS: That's Daron Bolat of Rockville, Maryland. His reflections on his speech impediment brought back memories for Victor Simel(ph) of Pahoa, Hawaii. He writes, "More than 20 years ago, I was at a meeting where I read an item about a study about stuttering. I stuttered my way through the item, dead silence greeted my joke. A few days later, a fellow staff member who had been present spoke at another meeting, and he stuttered. I could have died of shame. Up to now, I still blush at my insensitivity."

Well, we want to hear from you. Write to us. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the top of the page.

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