One thing I’ve noticed — and I bet you’ve noticed it, too — is how rarely we receive “thank you” notes anymore. In any form. Not handwritten, not via email, not even a quick text.
People are busy and otherwise preoccupied and that kind of thing seems to be vanishing. The world is a poorer place for it.
Not that I need a thank you, but I notice when it’s not there.
As a driver, when I pause to let another car into “my” lane, or allow a pedestrian to pass, I always look for the little wave. That simple act that says, I see you.
I’ll continue to do those small things regardless of a response. But jeez, people. Where’s my little wave? Would it kill you?
Enough of the preamble, let’s go to the main event.
This package came the other day. I recognized that it was from a second-grade teacher in Ohio, Rose. I had enjoyed a paid Zoom visit with her class about two months back (one of Rose’s old friends had gifted me to her — even though all she ever wanted was a motorcycle).
Oooooh, fancy paper.
It’s a handcrafted hamster! Rose had
threatened promised to send one. Each year — I think I’ve got this right — Rose reads Jigsaw Jones: The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster with her class. And each year they make their own hamsters. In Rose’s classroom, literature meets art. Rose probably includes science, too, teaching about real hamsters. It’s called cross-curricular learning. Or maybe just “fun,” depending upon whom you ask.
That’s not all. The package included a card, signed by the entire class.
So kind — and what a warm activity for these young students to share. Reflection and gratefulness and thanksgiving. “We love books!”
I received photos, too. Can’t show them all.
But here’s another!
And lastly, maybe best of all, the handwritten note.
Pretty great, right? How lucky am I?
So here we are, late June, summer begins and another school year ends. As always, I am grateful to every teacher who shared my books with young readers. I couldn’t survive in this bunny-eat-bunny business if not for you — promoting literacy and a love of reading.
We recognize in this one package the profound difference that one teacher can make in a classroom, modeling positive social behaviors — again: reflection, appreciation, thankfulness, manners. Think of the difference that dozens of teachers make in a school, and hundreds make in our communities, and hundreds of thousands make in our world.
Rose is just one person, a humble second-grade teacher, loving those kids, managing through a pandemic, doing her level best — impacting her students and giving us all more reasons to hope for the kinder, more gentle future.
Please, don’t thank me, Rose.
Thank you, teachers, everywhere.