The Stars in My Sky

1 Mar

Mrs. Form, 3rd Grade, circa 1989. She took us to get ice cream when we learned our multiplication tables. We earned paperclips to cash in at her store. She let us get a hamster as a class pet. She made us feel like we were the sun, the moon, and the stars – her stars. She’s the reason I wanted to be a teacher.

I’m lucky that she lives in my parents’ neighborhood, with her husband who was the best swim meet starter a summer league has ever known. I get to see her sometimes; she still has the same great laugh and twinkly smile. She knows Abigail. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, there’s a whole community who loves her. She’s special.

I wanted to be that kind of teacher.  Someone who made her students feel extra special. The kind of teacher that you run into years later at the grocery store who can’t believe how much you’ve grown,  and still remembers your name and something  you liked. I wanted to be there to cheer on my former students at their high school graduations.

I was lucky to be plopped down in a great community for a short time, six years. I worked in a great school. I loved the teachers, students, and families there. I got to feel what it was like to see a familiar last name on my class roster when I found out I was teaching brothers and sisters of former students. I had some of those “Oh my gosh!” moments when students that had moved on to middle and even high school came back to see me.

And then we moved and it was time for me to start down another path in my life.  I keep in touch through Facebook with some of the teachers and families.  Posts they make celebrating snow days and successful plays and incredible turnouts at Book Fairs and Jump Rope for Heart have me celebrating right along with them.  Hearing about Spelling Bee winners and JV Soccer players makes my day.

But today. Today I got to be there again. It’s Read Across America Day. My incredibly clever and creative former colleague had the awesome idea to make it literally – Read ACROSS America. I got to read Green Eggs and Ham from an iPad in Oregon to a 4th grade class in Virginia via Facetime. It made my day to see some of my old students, ones I had almost 2 years ago as second graders. It was a joy and an honor.

I wish I was still there – to go to sports games and dance recitals and maybe even a graduation in a few years. The kids I’ve taught are part of my starry sky and it thrills me to see them shine. I hope they know that even though I am here, I am still there, always.

9 Responses to “The Stars in My Sky”

  1. Jen March 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Oh Sarah! You ARE that kind of teacher to Chad! He will always remember you and you know he had a crush on you then of course! As for graduation from HS…you have two more years and you can be there for that! I will make sure you know the date and we will be sure to reserve a seat for the star in his third grade world. It would be the first graduation from HS of a class you taught. How lucky we are to still be in touch via this digital world we live in today! You brighten so many days for me with your blog and I share so much of it with the boys who remember you well. Shine on my friend!

    • Sarah March 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Yep. You made me cry. That class is so very special to me and I will do everything I can to see if I can get there for their proud moment. Chad was a wonderful and talented student. I’m so glad that I get to know what he is up to (and always will) because of our friendship. XO

  2. Kathy March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    This is so special. Elizabeth’s 2nd grade teacher was that to her! Tammy Fryer lite the fire for reading for her. I am so glad you got to see your grown up 2nd graders today!

    Love the technology!!


    • Sarah March 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      You hear so much about the negative aspects of technology, too much of this and that, but from my point of view it has been such a blessing to stay so connected. And Mrs. Fryer would be proud to know how much Elizabeth still loves reading.

  3. Brian Hart March 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    The Forms were my favorites. I haven’t thought of paperclips as currency since 3rd grade, thanks for that long lost memory. Good read, Sarah.

    • Sarah March 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

      Thanks for reading, Brian! I always felt lucky to be in Mrs. Form’s class. What a fun year we all had! Hope you’re doing well.

  4. Nicole March 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Sarah – I know you made a wonderful and lasting impression on Alex. He will see me on facebook and notice something you have posted and ask to see your pictures. You are an amazing person … even though you may not still be in a classroom, you are teaching one of your favorite students every day. Enjoy that mommy time =)

    • Sarah March 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      It was so great to see your smiling face today! Wish I could have seen Alex, too. Give him a big hug from me. This was very sweet of you. Thank you. I really miss you all, I know I say it a lot, but it’s true.

  5. JustHeather March 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    My 3rd grade teacher was Mrs Rush and we earned marbles in a jar. One time when it was full, our entire class walked down the hill to get an ice cream! She (and my 5th grade teacher) was one of my favorite teachers.
    They still do Jump Rope for Heart? That was a 3rd grade activity too!

    Teachers like what you describe and aspire to be like can only make me think that you are one of them! Thanks for the memories.

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