May 6, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)
Before long, the mosquitoes will invade this area, so sitting on the back porch has a limited life in Maryland’s seasons. In the spring and even more so in the fall, this is one of my favorite and soul refreshing night activities. Tonight I sat outside, lit candles and heard neighbors on both sides quietly talking. Some traffic noise on Mountain Road drifted through the trees but no sirens tonight.
Ping! A message on my cell phone. It was from a former student from my teaching days at Ben Franklin Junior High in Baltimore City. Colleen goes way back – I started teaching in 1967 and left around 1974. I am now Facebook friends with quite a few of my former students, including her. It was a sweet conversation with Colleen:
“You still are beautiful. You didn’t change,” she wrote. (It’s probably because of careful selection about what photos I put on Facebook, but I’ll have to admit it is nice to hear this after more than 40 years.)
“Really, you were a wonderful teacher. You still are great. You were very kind helping us kids back then,” she continued.
I typed with my clumsy fat fingers in the iPhone, “It was my job but I liked it too. I didn’t do it for the money though, that’s for sure.”
“Well, I think you’re the only one who cared about us kids. I know you did it from your heart.”
Now how many middle school/junior high teachers hear such positive words ever from students they taught? Not often. Those are the hormonal years where students are neither children nor adults; those are years that so many want to and do forget. If teachers do their jobs in order to be thanked, then they will certainly be disappointed. They go into such a challenging profession because they believe that what they are doing is important and that they can make a difference.
Tonight my candles were lit and my heart was warmed by a voice from the past.
My gift today was confirmation that I might have made a difference.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: