My youngest brother, Clint just finished 2nd grade. His teacher's name was Ms. Alvey. I never talk to Clint much about school but I was aware that he really liked his teacher, she was his favorite yet. My mom liked her too.
The day before he returned to school from Christmas Break, she passed away. I remember seeing his face when my mom told him. There wasn't really any pain, just shock. He didn't say much for a couple days. He never really showed any grief or pain over her passing, but we did find that there was a bit of hostitility towards his new teacher. I'm sure it was hard for all of the kids.
This summer, his new teacher mailed him a portfolio of his 2nd grade year. The first page was a list of what each class member wrote about Ms. Alvey the day they found out she had passed. I'd like to share this with you:
She was nice to me.
She was pretty.
She wore lots of bling!
She let us spray paint her hair.
If you gave her something, she kept it.
She told me that no matter what, I am a rock star!
She was fun.
She cared about me.
She said do it nice, or do it twice!
She was kind.
She dressed like a hippie for Halloween!
She was nice.
I love her.
I loved her bling.
She dressed nice.
She was a good teacher.
Her hair was pretty.
I liked her a lot.
She told me the truth.
She did gingerbread houses with us.
I never met this woman, but this list is so powerful and moving to me. This is a stunning look into the mind of child. Some of these statements are so genuine and I'm sure there is so much thought behind them. One of my favorites is "If you gave her something, she kept it." That is so profound. Think about what this child could've given her and why it meant so much for this child that she kept things that were given to her. Most of the statements are very specific as well, not just throwaway compliments. These kids meant what they said. These children are obviously at a very innocent and corruptible stage and I'm glad that this woman was there for them.
I won't get too specific, but this past year I've really had to re-discover the importance of youth, mostly due to a little show I did called Peter Pan, but that is another story for another time. Children are care-fee, sincere, silly, playful, and more wise than anyone gives them credit for. Hopefully I can keep some element of youth in my life, no matter my age. Thank you Ms. Alvey and her second grade class for this little reminder.