In a meeting…in a classroom…much of my life is spent here.
Dear E this is for you,
You have been on my mind since yesterday. Do you ever wish you could re-do time? I wish there were re-do’s alllllll the time. First I want to tell you something…..
When I was in college my siblings were in elementary school. One day my Mom asked me to take my brothers and sisters to their book fair that was being held in the school library. It was at the same elementary school I had attended. Whilst there, I ran into my sixth grade teacher. I said hello and said you were my sixth grade teacher and re-introduced myself. I told him I was studying to be a teacher and he just said, OH and shook his head and smiled. He didn’t remember me. I didn’t really expect him to but the truth is it hurt my heart just a little bit that he didn’t. You know?
Fast Forward. I am now a teacher and have been for what feels like eons. In fact more than 450 children have been through my classroom doors over the years. Also, personally my adult life has been less than easy. In fact there is a great big gaping black hole where I don’t remember much from about 2004-2010. I think that is a defense mechanism of sorts that the memory does for a person who has been through a hard time. I guess what I am saying is I feel as if I failed you yesterday. Mostly, I want you to know that you are important and special. I want you to know that once you are mine and your little feet pass through my doorway, you are always mine. You are stamped on my heart, even if….it takes me a moment to pull up the memories.
A sweet, sweet, kind, dear friend of mine gave me a massage to Massage Envy for Christmas. My neck had been just aching. Stress induced to be sure! I had to use the massage at a specific Massage Envy and called in the week to schedule for Saturday. I figured that would be a nice treat to end he holiday break. I went into the studio happily. I sat and waited and fiddled on my phone in the “quiet room.” My massage therapist was a bright blue eyed girl. We shook hands and I walked into the room. As I was on the table she asked me what I did for a living and I said, I am a teacher. There was a pause and I said I teach second grade. She then said…..Have you always taught second grade and I said, No. I had taught fourth grade for a majority of my career and also had an in home preschool at one point. She then said, I think you were my fourth grade teacher. My mind just went blank and I thought maybe this is weird for her to be giving me a massage…it is kind of weird. Except, the massage therapist I go to is a former students Mom. Plus, these are professionals! My mind was scanning ALL the files as I was trying to place her. She then gave me the most lovely gift I have ever been given. She said, You are the reason I wanted to be a teacher. I have two years done toward my degree. My heart beamed with pride. She told me of how I had challenged her to read more and even some pretty difficult books. We shared our love of Harry Potter. She was in my class the year I was pregnant with Aydan. I ended up staying home for the rest of the year after Spring Break. She told me how she was determined to hate the sub because she loved me so much. I can’t tell you how much this touched my heart. How much it renewed my energy as a teacher to feel as though I did make a difference to SOMEONE.
There are times as a teacher that even as hard as I try to do my best and give all of my love I wonder if it really matters?
It does. I was reminded that IT DOES.
She told me of how she had excelled in school and then finally as she talked about her brother who I had the year previous all of the memories came flooding back to me.
And E, you have been on my mind ever since.
I want you to know that I was so happy to see that you were the warm, kind, sweet, smart girl that you were in fourth grade. That those big blue eyes are just the same and just as beautiful! I want you to know that I thought the world of you then and I still do. I want you to know that you were and are now SMART as a WHIP. I want you to know that when you pursue your degree I will be here if you need a professional opinion on a lesson plan or an assignment. I would be happy to let you pick my brain. I want you to know how proud of you I am! You are an amazing, accomplished, hard working adult. Bravo my girl!
We talked about the struggles of being a child and growing up with meanies. The rock throwers, the name callers, the putter downers. Don’t let them in, let them go, they don’t matter anymore. I have found that karma is an interesting thing. Look for the silver linings and the sunshine that is where real happiness lies. Plus, look at just how amazing you are! You are on your way.
Thank you for your kindness. You are so special and so loved.
Your Fourth Grade Teacher,
XOXO-A Teacher’s Heart, The Sunny D