Teachers have the power to make a lasting impression on a child's life. I want to tell you about my All Time Favorite Teacher - Mrs. Ruth Cox!
Today in church the 3rd point we were to take away from the The HEART OF ENCOURAGEMENT IS HOPE.
This pastor (who also used to be the BEST 3rd grade teacher @ my school) used an example of a teacher who whispered into the ear of a little girl with a cleft palate, "I wish you were my little girl." He said it forever changed the little girl's life.
That's what we as teachers have the power to do & that is what one particular teacher did for me.
I was a 6 year old little girl who LOVED school. My mother always surprised me with books - My favorite, Dr. Seuss, of course! I lived in a trailer with my mom, dad, a younger brother & a younger sister. At the time, we were on food stamps because both parents had been laid off from work. I adored my first grade teacher, but she left on maternity leave after Christmas.
This particular morning I was late for school (if you looked at report cards, I was late often) and when I walked in there was a SUB! I immediately did not like this person because she was NOT my teacher. I wanted my teacher back. To my surprise by the end of the year, I remember crying because school was out & I was going to miss her.
Move ahead to the next year. I walk in to my 2nd grade classroom and there she was, Mrs. Cox, my sub from last year!
Talk about excitement. This was going to be amazing!
At this point, my parents were back at work, but my mom and dad worked on different shifts. Mom wasn't around as much as I was used to because of working second shift.
Mrs. Cox was like a second mom to me that year. She let me stay after school and be her
teacher's pet helper. She even took me home after school on occasion, when dad was too engrossed in something and forgot the time.
Mrs. Cox had 2 boys of her own and always wished for a little girl. She told me I was the little girl she never had. My mom and dad believed in me & encouraged me, but now I had someone else in my life looking out for me. Someone who wasn't a relative.
Mrs. Cox encouraged me to always do my best and strive for more. She believed in me and gave me hope. For years and years following second grade, I gave her Christmas presents. Sometimes she would even surprise me with cards or small gifts during the school years. She kept up with me during middle school, high school, and even now. She attended my graduation, my wedding showers, and my wedding. She was even my substitute a few years ago when I was out for surgery.
Once I went to her house to visit her and in her living room was a picture of me and a few of the trinkets I had given her over the years. I have told her many times she meant the world to me, but I don't know if she will ever know how much.
We have the power to make a difference in the lives of the little ones we teach. We must chose to be a blessing! We don't know what each one goes home to at night, but we can be their hope and encouragement during the day.