I had another post planned, but I just heard some incredibly sad news about one of my teachers from elementary school.
I’ve mentioned a few times on here that I had the best teachers growing up. I am honestly not just saying that. These were the absolute best of the best kind of teachers. Considering how much time children spend in classrooms, I think having the right teachers is imperative. Unfortunately, teachers also don’t get nearly as much credit (or compensation) as they should.
School for me was never as torturous as television shows would make it out to be. I 100% attribute this to the principals and teachers that taught us and, honestly, supported us as we grew taller and smarter and older and wiser.
To this day, I’m still close with most of my teachers. We’re all friends on Facebook and we keep up with each other’s Instagram accounts. I looked up to these women (and men) growing up in ways that I can’t even describe. My mom was crazy involved with our schools’ PTAs, but even still, every single one of my teachers served as a surrogate mother during the day.
Even though we keep in touch through social media from time to time, I really don’t think that I’ve ever reached out to my teachers to thank them. So much of my life and my path and my interests were molded and incubated under the watchful eyes of these women. Each taught me lessons about life and truths about myself that I still carry extraordinarily close to my heart.
I’m so sad for the loss of my elementary school science teacher and I really wish that I could go back and tell her how much she impacted my life. The biggest thing that I remember was that she gave the hardest tests. We had her for science third through fifth grade and I’m telling you, these were some of the hardest tests. It was her tests that instilled the importance of studying to me. I can still remember sitting in the stands of the softball field while my sister played, memorizing the different types of clouds (and their spellings). I got a C on the test and was horrified. She gave us super hard worksheets on a different state each week that we had to research using encyclopedias or Encarta (hey, this was pre-Google). Every Halloween she would dress up like a Mad Scientist and perform tricks for us. We hatched chicks. We dissected owl pellets. We held annual science Olympics. We traveled to the Edison & Ford museum and then collected sharks teeth at the beach. We did the science fair and the classic egg drop. We had an “electrical” project assignment that to this day still gives me anxiety and nightmares. (We were competitive little 9 year olds.) We raced mice! I still remember (most) of the names of the bones in the body because of her.
One year, my family and my friend’s family were invited to her ranch. We rode in her truck and followed cows around. We played in her house and we were obsessed with this new gadget she had called the Roomba. The walls of her house were lined with some of the most exquisit artwork that I have ever seen outside of a museum (and, of course, Mamma Mia records).
It is eery because I wore this Dark ‘n’ Stormy dress because I thought it was going to rain. I was texting my friend how I felt like Mrs. Frizzle matching my dress to the weather forecast. I cannot think about Mrs. Frizzle without thinking of my teacher because she always wore dresses with matching belts… just like in the Magic School Bus.
My teachers were more than teachers to me and my friends. I owe them so much and I don’t even know where to begin or how to begin to thank them for everything. Again, I am sad that I won’t have the chance to tell her… but I think it’s an important reminder for everyone to reach out to the teachers of our lives to simply say thank you.
PS She gave me a copy of this CD when I graduated elementary school. The song has always reminded me of her and it honestly has even more meaning now.
I hope you dance.