Thursday, January 17, 2013

Teachers Fooprints

I remember every teacher I have ever had.  But there are a few that touched my life more than they will ever know. 

There was Ms Johnson in Kindergarten. As I was leaving Ross Jeffereies in Florida and about to head to Kansas, Ms. Johnson took me on a Saturday trip to the beach.  She gave me presents that she didn't want me to unwrap until I got to Kansas.  They were full of mementos of our year together. 

Then there was Mrs. Day in 3rd Grade.  My last year in Kansas.  She was pregnant almost the entire year and for some reason, we bonded.  She used to take me to the ice cream parlor about once a month after school. 

Then there was Mrs. Day my Algebra teacher in the 6th Grade at St. Cloud Middle School back in Florida.  I would go home with her on Wednesday nights and go to church with her (which also happened to be where my Daddy's parents went) and come back to school with her the next morning.

Finally there was Mrs. Milam my 9th-12th grade business teacher at Quitman.  She was the one ignited this organized crazy that I am and inspired me to discover my leadership abilities and public speaking presence.  I spent time out on her farm and adored her family!

Now...It wasn't until I married and told My Man some of these stories that I realized...this isn't the norm.  He thought it was absolutely crazy that there could be such a personal relationship with a teacher.  I don't know if some of these teachers of mine sensed where I was coming from in my rough upbringing or if was my attractive personality (I'll go with that one), but I DO now realize...loving your teachers and them loving their students is one thing.  But POURING into a kid in your class is completely another.

My Girl had Mrs. Jennifer in Kindergarten.  She was wonderful.  We all loved her and even morned with her as her young husband died.  Then 1st Grade was Mrs. Cline.  A bubbly and fun teacher whom My Girl ADORED!  In 2nd grade we moved to Vilonia and her teacher was...less than desirable.  My Girl was bullied most of the year and the teacher wasn't helpful at all!

Then in 3rd Grade...I knew the moment I met her at the preview day...this was going to be different.  Her name was Ms. Kayla Roberts.  I let her know about the horrible 2nd grade year and I literally watch her IMMEDIATELY pour into My Girl with a hug and encouragement that this was going to be the best year of her life. 

She wasn't wrong to date. 

My Girl's whole attitude changed.  She would beedely bop into the house every afternoon with a smile and something exciting to say that usually centered around Ms. Roberts.  Don't get me wrong...we had our moments.  Like the weeks on end that math drills were happening and My Girl would get SO frustrated that she was never going to be able to beat the clock.  Ms. Roberts gave me tips to help her get thru it and daily encouraged My Girl.  We were able to talk about Spiritual things with Ms. Roberts and it was SO refreshing.  And it really was an AMAZING year and I was so wishing Ms. Roberts would just move on up to 4th grade. 

But she couldn't.  So when 4th grade came along and large obstacles were seeming too big for My Girl to mount and all of the encouragement I could give was sorta written off as "you have to...your my Mommy" swooped Ms. Roberts!  She began to encourage My Girl again.  Have her to her room for lunch so they could talk.  Came to her birthday party and got her an awesome Britt Nicole CD (mommas of them all now!!!) 

But all of the sudden I was facing a wall of watching My Girl's spirit peter out.  She was coming to the realization that while everyone around her says they are her friend and talk to her and play with her...she really is just every one's alternate choice.  The one they run to if they need help.  The one they run to when their 1st choice of friend isn't available.  The one they run to if they are sad.  But not really her friend.  But nowhere was she really finding her "fit in".  Sure, she does have one heart friend.  That one person who would ALWAYS choose her first if giving the opportunity and vice versa.  That one person who is just like her...fits in everywhere but nowhere really.  That one person who sticks out like a sore thumb because she doesn't choose to look like or act like everyone else.  Sweet Kelsey is that girl, but she lives in my old home town and goes to a different school.  They only get to see each other every so often but when they do, it's like they are home.  And all of my encouraging and her Daddy's encouraging and the typical people around her just wasn't working much.

And there she was again...Ms. Roberts!

She took My Girl to the local FROYO place and they had a girls date.  They talked and laughed and played with Ms. Roberts' seat warmers.  And when she brought My Girl home she showed me what she was blessing My Girl with now.  This...

It is a journal.  And in the front she placed a copy of some guidance: 

Peaks, Pits, Praises and Prayers ~

1.  Peaks of the Day ~ The highlights.  The good moments.  Something overall positive that happened during the day.
2.  Pit of the Day ~ The low point of the day.  But, rather than just complaining about it, find a way that looking back at it can be positive or a blessing in disguise.
3.  Praise ~ Simply praising God for specific things that happened.
4.  Prayers ~ Prayer requests that may have arose from the new day or that have been lingering.

Wow.  I was suddenly reminded of my teachers that left a lasting footprint on my life, heart and memories. 

But this teacher...she not only has left that...she left a footprint on things eternal. 

Ms. Roberts...thank you for being the Hands and Feet of God.  I pray you are blessed to the point of it spilling over and splashing all around!  That girl of mine...she is going to be something amazing for God and I want you to know you are part of the groundwork there.  Thank you for being you!

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