J + Ms. F + K = two students with their favorite teacher.
And she's back in our lives. We are all so very happy to have found her after so many years.
We met Ms. F almost fifteen years ago when J walked into her classroom the first day of fourth grade. Fourth grade meant a new school, filled with a bunch of new kids to meet, and a whole lot of nerves over changing classrooms - all the things to make a kid want to run for the hills. Or at least stay home and drop out of school.
Ms. F was just what he needed.
She was tough but fair. She had high expectations and her praise meant everything to a nine year old boy. There were no slackers in her class. I volunteered once a week in her classroom and she always had me do one thing - multiplication flash cards. Over and over and over again. If there was one thing those students were going to master by the time she was finished with them, by golly, it was the times tables.
She made learning fun. K told her tonight how much she loved one of the assignments they had to do for writing. And how she used that lesson throughout high school.
Ms. F told them to write directions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then they had to read their writing out loud and follow the directions exactly as written. Needless to say, there were some key steps left out and bread and peanut butter and jelly ended up all over the place - much to the chagrin of the writer and the delight of the other students.
K learned a lot from that lesson about the importance of writing clearly and completely. We're not allowed to do that lesson anymore, Ms. F told us tonight. Peanut allergy issue? I asked. Well, yes, that too. But it wastes too much time, we were told, she answered.
I don't think I agree with that. Not one bit.
Fast forward almost fifteen years and it's one day last week. I was standing at the main circulation desk, looking intently at a computer screen, and I hear a woman ask, Excuse me, can you help me find a book, please?
I know that voice.
And when I looked up, I recognized her immediately. And then she recognized me. Just like that, fifteen or so years washed away and we were talking and laughing and crying like we had seen each other yesterday. Her children and my children are about the same ages so we caught up with what each one has been doing, looked at pictures and made plans to get together.
I discovered she moved into town a couple years ago and lives about a mile or so away from us. It's been wonderful reconnecting with her. She popped over tonight and J and K got to say hello and visit for a short while before we got to work - she wants to start blogging so I offered to help her get started.
She's got some interesting stories to tell.
But I'll let her tell you those stories. Watch for her blog link on the right side as soon as she's up and running.
So glad you're back, Ms. F. We missed you.