Susan Elizabeth Blow

by Amanda from Wallingford

Susan Elizabeth Blow (
Susan Elizabeth Blow

Susan lived in St. Louis Missouri her whole life, from 1843 to 1916. As a little girl, she loved to read and write and was always trying to learn more things. When she got into college, Susan traveled to Germany and saw something that was very interesting to her. All the little kids were already going to a school called kindergarten. Kindergarten fascinated Susan so much that when she got back home she opened up her own in St. Louis, making it the very first kindergarten in the U.S. She was hoping that when kids went to school at an earlier age, they would be smarter and would have learned more in their lives than what they would have learned with just 3 years of school when they start at age 7. She also made the school free so all the kids that couldn’t pay for school could just come and not have to pay her. She helped a lot of kids with their education and she even did it without being paid for ten years because she wanted those kids to have a good education and a bright future. If she hadn’t taught them at such a young age, then they would have a lot more difficulty with their school work later and they wouldn’t have learned as much as they did with kindergarten.

Something that makes Susan Blow a hero would be how she could have been whatever she wanted and could have been paid a lot of money for it, but instead she became a teacher and taught little kids without being paid, just because she wanted to. She always thought that kids weren't getting enough of an education and decided to start a kindergarten where she lived. This meets my definition of a hero because to me a hero is someone who goes out of their way to help people without being told to do it or to be paid to do it and that’s what she did. She went out of her way to help children because she wanted to help them, not because she had to. I also think a hero is someone that people look up to and all of her students had looked up to her as a hero because if she hadn't opened up her school, they wouldn't be able to go to school because they didn't have the money. Susan also trained teachers in the afternoons after teaching her kindergarteners. This was to make sure that the children were all getting a good education by making sure that their teachers were all well trained. All of her hard work helped the kids grow up with a great education and should've helped them later on in life, especially with their jobs. Susan once wrote, “If we can make children love intellectual effort, we shall prolong habits of study beyond school years.”

An old fashioned school house (
An old fashioned school house

Not only did Susan Blow teach little kids, but she also wrote books about kindergarten education and opened up kindergartens all over America so all children could be well educated. This also meets my definition of a hero because instead of just teaching kids in Missouri, she took the time out of her schedule to help create kindergartens all over America. This way any kids who wanted a better education than what they were getting could go to school without having to go all the way to Missouri. The books also helped mothers home school their kids if they didn't go to school because Susan knew that some parents wouldn't pay for school or didn't want their kids at school at such a young age. Her books were, Symbolic Education published in 1894, Letters to a Mother on the Philosophy of Froebel in 1899, and Kindergarten Education in 1900. She stayed in Missouri teaching kids and teachers without being paid for 10 years then by 1883 all of St. Louis’s public schools had a kindergarten. Then she started creating more kindergartens around America. Meanwhile, she was writing her books for parents to help their kids with school and for people to understand how important school is for kids. Everything that she did helped the kids that needed to go to school, but didn't live in Missouri, go to kindergarten in their own state. Her books also taught adults how important school is and taught kids that were home schooled. "Education shall encourage self expression," Susan once said.

Susan with Students
Susan with Students

Whether she seems important or not, without Susan we probably wouldn't have kindergarten and we wouldn't be going to school for so many years. She helped everyone become a lot more successful, smart and even healthier. She was a very important person that without her we wouldn't have all the technology we have now because nobody would be as educated as we are. Everything now a day would be completely different without her. We would probably still only be going to school for a few years before going to college.

If Susan Blow was still here and we needed advice on what to do about all of the kids dropping out of school, her answer would go something like this. If kids are being held back for more than one year then they need to be put into a different school or a different class for kids like them. This way they can get help with everything that they have issues with in school instead of being overloaded with work that doesn't make any sense to them. They should have their own special work and classes to push them ahead but at their own pace so they won’t be struggling to keep up with everyone else. If the student is just simply lazy and just doesn't want to do their work, then they should be sent to a counselor to talk about it and hopefully change their mind about school and get them back on the right track. If this doesn’t work then the student's future is in their own hands.

Page created on 9/4/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/2/2024 4:59:25 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Author Info

When you think of the word hero, what kind of person comes to your mind? To me a hero is someone that people look up to because they go out of their way to help other people and they make a difference in someone else’s life without being paid or told to do it. That is exactly what Susan Elizabeth Blow is, a hero. She is a hero because she spent years of her life teaching little kids who couldn't afford private school, but wanted a good education. She loved to read and write and learn as much as she could and wanted to share her love of learning with kids that didn't attend school. She even opened the first kindergarten in St. Louis and ran it for ten years without any pay. In this essay I will prove that Susan is a hero because she helped little kids, that didn't have the money, get a good education for free and did it because she wanted to and not because she had to.