“Dedicated to Mrs. Speaks Grades 1-5
Priceville Elementary School”
I remember early mornings tossing off
mounds of handmade quilts running
across bare floors to put on shoes with
holes in the soles; then pulling on a
ragged coat to keep away the cold.
Life was innocent and sweet, the ringing
of a school bell, big yellow buses, sharing
secrets with your friends in your favorite
seat. Big rolling wheels gave bumps and
giggles hitting every pothole on winding
country roads stopping at each mailbox
one by one; it was a time of purity and
Some children carried their lunch in paper
sacks or ate in the cafeteria at school, but
most of us had only a tin bucket filled with
nothing but a biscuit or two. A little country
school where children were lucky to have
clothes on their backs and shoes on their
feet, where teachers with motherly faces
brought the poor children homemade treats.
Teachers focused on children who were
withdrawn and no child set apart; each
encouraged to follow their dreams, to listen
to their hearts. My memory is of such a
teacher who lives in my memories and heart;
the last time I spoke to her; she said that she
knew I was one of those withdrawn children
and set my own self apart.
Then in a firm voice she asked, “In life, what
have you learned”; I leaned close to her
whispering, “You taught me well and you have
She pulled me close to her, telling me to
remember that life is not always what it
seems; to never believe that all is lost
because in the end all that we have and
truly possess are our dreams.
She closed her eyes seemingly lost
somewhere in the past; I left with a
heavy heart knowing that this visit
would be my last. I drove to the place
where the old school use to be, now
vacant land that I thought of as hallowed
ground; I could still hear her say as she
did in those long ago days; “learn all you
can my child because this tiny country
school is where your future can be found.
What a privilege to have known such a
kindred heart, the magic she created for
each and every child; she taught us that
life may not be what it seems, but that we
should never lose the ability to dream.
A note came shortly before her death; she
wrote that I was to remember the lesson
that I had learned, and that no one could
change me without my consent; and
happiness and fulfillment did not always
come from external events.
She wrote that I must be aware that I possess
the inner wisdom, strength and the creativity
needed to make my dreams come true; life is
what you make of it she said; it’s all up to you.
How wonderful it is to remember the ringing of
the school bell as a child, the rushing to get on
the big yellow bus grabbing that favorite seat,
always the place where you and your friends
The big rolling wheels stopped along the winding
country road letting everyone out one by one, it
was days of innocence and having fun. Yes, I lived
in a shanty down by Old Flint Creek, and I owe a
part of my outlook on life to a treasured teacher
who always made sure the poor children like me
had homemade treats.
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7 thoughts on “My Tribute to Teachers Everywhere…”
Gratitude is a wonderful gift; and, this is a graceful homage.
Thank you Jamie… Ann
A beautiful tribute !!!
Thank you she was so sweet, she wore a large bun on top of her head; I did that for a year in the first grade to my own hair! :0) Ann
The world needs more teachers like that. 🙂
I can think of nothing else to say at this time, except – it’s beautiful!…the story the words and the nostalgic trip. It was felt as if everything was happening before my eyes…
Thank you for the kind comment. Ann
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