"All the time I was teaching, I was also writing short stories. I poured out everything," says bestselling writer Bel Kaufman.
In this video, Kaufman speaks about her initiation into an American classroom, when she enrolled in a New York City public school after immigrating with her family from Russia. Although Kaufman couldn't speak English, her teacher treated her kindly, and Kaufman was inspired to become a teacher herself.
Kaufman later dedicated herself to teaching in the New York City public school system, an experience that led to her celebrated novel Up the Down Staircase.
Up the Down Staircase exposes "the lack of communication, the lack of understanding, the bureaucracy, the gobbledygook, but it's funny," Kaufman says. "It's about love—it's about the many facets of love."
Here's to all the teachers, and all the writers out there sitting in front of "a blank piece of paper."
May you be inspired by Bel Kaufman, and by each other, always!