“Grace is unearned love--the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you."
― Anne Lamott
|Prairie Eydie, Awesome Student, & Guest Blogger Lena are reunited after 6 years. Too bad we couldn't have been reunited on a very special Oprah.|
On October 16th, in the blog "Grace Gifts - The Challenge," I asked y'all to join me in a week long journey of delivering grace. In the midst of sinus infection #2 (Yes. I still need sympathy and devotion, since I think sinus infection #4 is on its way.), I delivered grace gifts to seven fabulous people. I want to tell you how one of the gifts came full circle.
I had an extraordinary instructor when I got my Masters degree in reading. Lets call her, Lori, because that is her name. She is intelligent, understanding, and funny. Everyone wanted to be in her sessions because there would be stickers, lively literacy discussions, and chocolate. Lori always looked lovely. She wore heels, swinging skirts, and red lipstick. In the month of February, she wore a different heart pin on her blouse or jacket. I LOVED seeing what Lori was wearing.
I made a conscience decision to model my "Teacher Self" after Lori. To this day, I give my students stickers, smile and greet them at the door, notice when they are sick, and do my best to pass on my love of books. I don't wear heels everyday, but I really make an effort to pull myself together. I believe when I look better, my students do better. I don't participate in "Pajama Day" because I can't slob around all day in a pair of fleece Hello Kitty pants. I also don't wear our school t-shirt every Friday. Blech. I am a team player and don't need to look yucky 20 percent of the week to prove it. Oh. And I am working on my collection of Valentine's Day pins.
As part of my grace challenge, I sent Lori a collage similar to this one:
Today. In the middle of second hour, I was visited by one of my former students. (Yes. He was one of my favorite students. AND he was also one of Prairie Sherry's faves.) He made my entire 2013-2014 school year when he told me, "You always believed in me and smiled at me every time you saw me."
Maya Angelou said: I've learned that people will forget what you said
I am throwing out a new grace challenge. Write to a former teacher and let her/him know who you will never forget how they made you feel when you were in their classroom. Or send an email to one of your kid's favorite teachers. Or drop off some treats at a near by school for the ravenous staff. Or volunteer to help out in my classroom. The grace you give will boomerang back to you. Promise.
This young man is truly extraordinary. I often think of him when I am feeling that what I do doesn't matter and isn't appreciated. He didn't ace every test I gave, he wasn't in the top 20% of his 8th grade class, but he was and is a young man who always showed that he cared--about himself, his classmates, and his teachers. It was an honor to be his teacher. I learned so much from him.