The Day I Believed It
By Tracy Lane
Do you remember your favorite teacher?
I’ll never forget Mrs. Boyd. She was the first person who said to me, “I think you could really pull this off. Why don’t you come by after school to talk about it?” I wasn’t sure what I could pull off and wondered what crime I’d committed to usher in an after-school conference.
I also knew I couldn’t stand her up.
Mrs. Boyd taught me sophomore English but what I learned from her is a lot more than that. She was a vivacious woman, daily clad in bold prints, clanking bracelets, and a vibrant smile. Mrs. Boyd read The Crucible out loud in 28 different voices, in wide gestures, in spirit, and certainly in truth. To a group of way too cool 15-year-olds she made ancient, irrelevant literature come alive.
All the while she called each of us to come alive. To embrace who we were becoming, growing up into men and women who would make a difference in the real world.
When I fulfilled her invitation for a one-on-one conference that late afternoon, she wanted to tell me who I could become. My most recent essay in hand, she repeated, “I think you could really pull this off!” I finally garnered the courage to ask what I was to pull off. “Being a writer! You’re a natural. You communicate with clarity and spunk. It’s interesting and leaves this reader wanting more.”
So maybe she was the second person to officially say it, but who believes their mom anyway? Writing had been my dream from the day the 5-year-old me penned a 3-line poem about falling autumn leaves. But my mom had to say it was good, right?
Mrs. Boyd asked if she could use my essay as an example for the class. And also save it to use for years to come. She’d white my name out, of course. But it was just perfectly inspiring, she said.
That was the day I believed it.
Mrs. Boyd stuffed bulging folders of research papers into the trunk of her canary colored thunderbird. She waved and winked at me as she sped toward home. I waited excitedly out front for my mom to pick me up. I couldn’t wait to tell her she had been right about me!
Thankfully, they’ve both been right about me. Every day it’s hard to believe I’m living the dream! I get paid to write. I have a legit career, and it’s impacting people around the world.
That’s the beauty of a teacher, who loved what she taught. Who loved who she taught. Who taught me I could accomplish my dreams.
Thanks, Mrs. Boyd.
And to show appreciation for your child’s teachers who are totally speaking into them their futures, take time to thank them as school year end is in sight.
Write them a thank you note. Make it specific. Include a few personal instances where the teacher intentionally served your child or family.
Give them a gift. A personalized gift is always nice, but any gift is thoughtful. Do you know their favorite restaurant? Opt for a gift card. A favorite snack? Drop a bag buy randomly to brighten their day. A favorite summer retreat place? Offer to cover a night stay. Do they often visit out of town family? Consider flight miles or points as a donation.
Speak highly of them in your community. Moms want to know what others moms think about the teacher their child will get next year. If your kid’s teacher is dedicated, caring, kind, and more—say so! You totally have the right (and responsibility) to brag on the adult who loves your child at school 6-7 hours a day!
Remember to show appreciation to the important teachers in your family’s life.