never worry about numbers. help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. ~mother teresa




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i went for a visit

 on a day off from teaching

to teach

in my youngest daughter’s class

where she is a first year teacher

and

on my way

i was overwhelmed

when

i thought about

her class

so young

and

so many of them

who

live

amid

poverty

and

violence

and

hunger

and

chaos

and

i wanted to

stop

and

buy them

everything

for many

have nothing

but

when i got there

we shared

a meeting

a holiday lesson

paint and glitter

stickers

 books

and

hugs

and

as i

sat on the floor

with them

and read stories

and told them

about the holiday

and sang songs

and played games

and helped them

one on one

and watched

the stronger ones

help the others

who were struggling

it was clear

that no matter

their circumstances

first and foremost

they were still children

who needed attention

and love

and support

and

with kind hearts

who happen to be

in

tough situations

through no fault

of their own

and

some will sink

and

some will swim

and

rise above

and

my daughter

is someone

who is helping to

make that difference

for them

just by caring

and trying

and

giving her all

and then some

even in this

very challenging  environment

and one said,

‘i never had a rainbow sticker before. i really love it so much.’

and

it was so small

but meant a lot to him

and they sat near me and braided my hair

and felt it

because it was different

and asked me questions

about their teacher

my daughter

‘does she have any sisters?’

‘you her mama?’

‘can you bring in your grandkids?’

and i realized

what a hero

my daughter is

each and every day

and

i was

overwhelmed

all over again

and

i could not

be prouder.

—-

ON HEROES WITHOUT CAPES

“when I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. they were spectacular and got a lot of attention.but as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”

– mr. rogers

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68 responses »

  1. That is so amazing Beth on so many levels. That your daughter honored you by becoming a teacher herself. That she chose to teach in a disadvantaged neighborhood. That she has made such an impact on the children she teaches. That her students felt so comfortable n her class that they would ask you personal questions. That you brought stickers they had not seen before and they appreciated them enough to comment. That they accepted you so easily and interacted so well.

    Just so many positives about this story – it brought tears of joy to my eyes to read. Thank you for sharing and thank your daughter for her skill and kindness in helping those who so many would spurn.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Beth – how wonderful this is. Those are the moments when you receive the most special and greatest gifts of all as a mother, aren’t they? This resonates with me because I worked for a few years in school health in many impoverished charter schools where I found the students to be gifts themselves in my life. And the fact that your daughter’s students love her so much is a true testament of what a great mom you are – of that I am certain. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My daughter is a beginning teacher, too, and my husband is a teacher who is about to retire. They are both wonderful teachers in different ways–and different subjects. He teaches math, and she teaches English.

    I love the Mr. Rogers quote!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel your daughter took right after you, Beth. Touching lives, being warm and loving, encouraging free thought and your visit was perfect. I loved the way you wished you could do more, buy them things but look how a rainbow sticker made a difference. Your visit and all you saw and learned, really warmed my heart, Beth! (Mr. Rogers is one of my heroes, but you and your daughter are also mine.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhhh, so beautiful…I’m going to send it to my daughter who is a preschool teacher and sees much of the same with the little ones she teaches. I’m grateful to all of you for helping to make the world a better place, one little heart at a time. Thank you Beth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Beth. Thank you.

    You made a difference to your daughter every day. Your daughter makes a difference to them every day. You made a difference to them that day.

    You make a difference to me every day.

    They can make a difference to somebody, every day.

    Life is quite lovely, the way it goes round and round.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved this. It reminded me so much of the few weeks I worked in inner city Dublin in the A and E department. No wonder you’re proud. But you know what they say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A powerful post. I felt some flow of passion from a mother … thankful for her daughter’s great investment into the lives of children, their hearts and minds. I also sensed the flow of passion from a teacher who has a special place in heart for sitting down with kiddos. Bravo, for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is absolutely beautiful and it brightened my day! As an assistant teacher, and a single parent, I feel and have felt just the way this lovely poem describes! What a joy you have shared! Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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