We all have that one teacher. The one who, when we look back at our school career, made the most positive impact in our lives just because of the way he or she was. We’ll call her Miss L. She’s kind of alternative, arty for the most part, firm with the children and yet loads of fun. She has a no nonsense approach, and yet it raises no hackles. She has the respect and love of every pupil, every peer, and every parent.
She’s passionate, patient and persuasive. She somehow managed to talk my son into abseiling on their school outing, despite his fear of heights. When he now looks back on his primary school career (which over here is from Grade 1 – Grade 7), she is the one. She is that teacher. He shared his sisters disappointment when she discovered that this year she would not be in Miss L’s class – but while talking about the excursion coming up next month, he told his sister ‘all the cool stuff Miss L does with you when you’re there’.
Today was a bad day.
It’s end of term here today, so the children all finish early, and have a two week holiday before the new term begins. My daughters dancing hours had been adjusted to allow for early closing, and so I made my way to school to watch their dance classes, which we are allowed to do on the last day of each term.
I arrived at school to find every person I passed in tears – some gently shedding an unstoppable flow, some sobbing so hard it made my stomach drop. I passed a few teachers, and they too were messes of miserableness.
I already knew the reason, and made my way quickly to the hall to find my daughter. To wrap her in the strong arms of her mommy. I had to play mommy to a few other children there, and eventually my strength gave way, and I shed a few tears too.
Miss L had passed away.
She didn’t arrive at school this morning. Two of the other teachers tried to get hold of her, and after repeated calling her repeatedly with no answer, they made their way to her house. They found her in her garden, still in her pyjama’s. It seems she had a heart attack when she went to check on her flowers before getting ready for school. She was only in her late forties.
As I looked around me at the devastation, and extended my arms as far they would reach to make place for yet another weeping child (both girls and boys), I was reminded yet again of these two things :
Life is short – do stuff that matters ~ Siqi Chen
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make ~ Jane Goodall.
Think about how you impact other peoples lives, and strive to impact them in a way that matters – that motivates and inspires and leaves a legacy of loving kindness behind!