By Amy Hoffman
One of my first loves was my kindergarten teacher. Ms. Lemon was always kind and taught me all kinds of important things. I learned how to share when using the easel and how to wait my turn when it was time to go outside. I learned that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches tasted a little better when mini marshmallows and Rice Krispies were mixed in with the peanut butter. When one of my friends had a bathroom accident, I learned that dramatic play clothing could be worn as real clothing and that accidents weren’t something to be embarrassed about. I learned that I was important as an individual; when she realized that I already knew how to read, she provided me with books to read while the rest of the kids were learning their letters. I learned the value of patriotism; she taught us 5 real patriotic songs (e.g., “My Country Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful”). And she gave the best hugs.
I lived in a small town, so I would run into her from time to time as I progressed through my public schooling, and she was always eager to hear what I was learning and about other elements of my life. She always cared, and she showed this by listening. One of my prized possessions is a card that I received from her when I graduated from college; I couldn’t believe that she kept track of me even after I left home!
Ms. Lemon was one of the main reasons why I chose to be a teacher. My hope was that I would make a lasting impact on at least one child during my years of teaching preschool. And I few years ago, I discovered that I did! I was at a local restaurant when the hostess asked, “Are you Miss Hoffman?” I responded in the affirmative and she told me her name. After I finished exclaiming about how excited I was to see her again, she said, “You were the best teacher I ever had. I’m in college to be a teacher, and I want to be one just like you were.” Talk about humbling moments in life!
Do you have a teacher who made an impact on you and inspired you to become a person who invests in the lives of children? If you can find her, send her a letter or a card, or post about him on social media. Maybe one day one of your students will say the same thing about you. If you have any stories to share, you can leave a note in the “Comments” section.