Saturday, January 21, 2012

Someone's Favorite Teacher

A little over a week ago, I was perusing the aisles at the local Dollar Tree to pick up some essentials for my classroom. I cannot buh-leave how quickly second graders go through pencils! I swear, I think they eat them! I'm constantly having to restock various supplies, and the cheapest way to get what I need every few weeks is to pay a little visit to the Dollar Tree. I love the Dollar Tree because, well, everything is a DOLLAR and they have an amazing office supplies/teacher goodies aisle. 

So, I was hanging out in my favorite aisle, eying up some rulers, paperclips, pencils, and stickers when another shopper paused to look at the supplies that were accumulating in my cart. I smiled at her and moved out of the way so that she could get by. Instead of walking past, she asked, "Are you a teacher?" I glanced down into my cart and it was kinda obvious. Why else would I be buying items (rulers, pencils sharpeners) in quantities of 22 - ha! I explained that yes, I am a teacher. I told her that it's my first year, and I love shopping at the DT because it's so cheap. I told her I didn't mind spending the money; I love my job. 

The lady replied, "I think it's wonderful that you chose to be a teacher." She went on to tell me about her favorite teacher from 30 years ago. Up until 6th grade, this woman hated to read. However her 7th grade reading teacher helped her to develop a love for reading. She lit up as she told me that she has always loved reading ever since that year, and that she plans to look up the teacher who now resides at a local nursing home and go visit her. 

I smiled and enjoyed hearing her story. She thanked me again for choosing to become a teacher and then we went about our separate ways. I finished stocking up on my supplies and was looking for a few other items around the store.

About ten minutes later, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and to my surprise, the kind woman who had shared with me her feelings about her favorite teacher was standing before me, holding out a wad of cash. I was completely taken aback. 

"Here. This is for you." At this point I am shaking my head "no" and waving my arms in front of me and telling her that it was not necessary.

She said, "This is in good faith that you'll be someone's favorite teacher one day."

Through tears, I told her that I could not accept such a gift from a stranger. And her response to me was, "You can... and you will. Use it to buy what you need for your classroom. God bless you." I hugged her and thanked her, and she walked out of the store.    

I pray that I will be the teacher that God has called me to be.

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