Wednesday, July 02, 2008

When The Student Teaches The Teacher

My dog, Ross, and I had just returned from a hot, sweaty walk this morning. We were wringing wet and looked like it. I was sitting in the living room checking some things on the internet - both of us trying to cool off - when a car pulled up to the curb. I recognized it as one of my little students....an angel of a girl I shall refer to as Miss O. Out she jumped from the side door of the van, carrying a Ziploc box in her arms. She was all gussied up with black patent shoes, a cute dress and her hair pulled up with a pretty bow...too adorable for words!

"This is a surprise", I thought as I hesitantly realized what I looked like...sweat pants, tank top, hideous hair, no make-up and stinky! She's an artistic, gentle soul who makes me grateful to be her teacher, so I could only imagine what Miss O was up to and I opened the door! There she held in her arms this box - taped up with the words 'to' and 'from' with our names on the top. She had brought me a present. This beautiful child had come to my house with a present for me....

We sat right down on my floor in front of my opened door... Ross happy to lick her ear and face as he is a frequent visitor to my classroom, and he remembered her (my dog knows!) I pulled off the tape here and there and managed to get it opened...and there, inside, were flowers for me. A bouquet of watercolored flowers made from filters and pipe cleaners. Each one carefully crafted by her for her teacher.

I can not adequately express the feeling one gets when a student creates something with their hands and heart for you. Yes, as mothers, we have that experience several times, perhaps, as our children grow through the years. But when a student, whom you have not seen for a month, whom you have not taught, talked with, laughed with or helped for 5 weeks, shows up at your door holding a box of love inside...it causes you to stop...reflect...love back...and give gratitude for your place in this child's heart.

I hugged her. Ross licked her. I had to hold back my tears as I told her I was going to put them in a vase and think of her all summer long. She humbly hugged her sweaty teacher and gave that brown-eyed smile and twinkle - then went back to the car with Mom. I humbly place my bouquet into a mason jar and set it on my dining room table - a place of honor in my home and heart.

Are children not the band-aids for our souls?

4 comments:

Chickenbells said...

Oh C!

What a wonderful surprise...and the colors are perfect for the summer table aren't they? I am happening to notice that you have some flowers on your vision board...

See all the beauty that is coming to you already??

Cheela said...

That is so cool, Carol. This is why we go back every day!!!

Nonnie said...

such a sweet thing....the effort made with you in mind....even when school is out...what a wonderful statement to the teacher you must be.
wonderful!
hugs,
kimberly

Just Joni said...

this is such a sweet story and I echo what Kimberly said "what a wonderful statement to the teacher you must be".