I haven't been an elementary classroom teacher for 34 years now.
But my daughter is a teacher and many of my family members and closest friends are teachers, so I wanted to share a little encouragement this morning from an email that put a smile in this former teacher's heart.
I woke up to a very unexpected surprise email from one of my second-grade students from all those many years ago. To be exact, 36 years ago.
As I was reading it, my eyes filled with tears as I can still picture that little fella who struggled mightily with schoolwork...the kind of child who doesn't cause trouble but tugs at your heartstrings that as hard as he worked, academic stuff just didn't come easily to him.
Excerpts from his email:
"I believe you were my 2nd grade teacher many moons ago. Occasionally, I google names I remember from the past, especially teachers. Your book about a survivor of the Andrea Doria perked my interest. I am ordering it now.
The main purpose of writing you is to thank you for hanging in there with me. I had severe dyslexia and little made sense on a page. Taking 1st grade 2xs was tough and confusing. I still remember your flash card drills for multiplication. That consistency and method finally made the world understandable to me (also, I yearned for one of your gold AND silver stars when finishing a table:). Even if you only were a teacher for 3 years. I feel fortunate that these coincided with my time there.
I am currently having a healthy mid-life crisis.
I quit my job as a part-time professor to pursue a Masters degree........
Congratulations on all your life success. It is fascinating and inspiring to read (especially traveling to Africa).
Again, thank you for being my teacher back in 1980."
He also shared that he spent time as a student in Europe. Clearly, this man is a success story and is making his impact in this world. What a humbling privilege that he took the time to look me up and thank me for whatever teeny-tiny role I played in his early years!
And that, my friends, is...
...the reason we teach.
(I added this photo for a couple of reasons...firstly, I can't get enough of these beautiful African birds! But more importantly to this post, this photo reminds me that sometimes children have to learn to fly before the world can truly see all their beauty!)
Thanks for the sweet reminder, my young student, of...
...the reason we teach.