I knew from the time I was 12 I wanted to be a teacher. For sixth grade I had a teacher, Mrs. Schimmel, who inspired me. SHe was tough, but we knew it because she cared about us and wanted to bring out the best in each of us.
I went to college and while there, I had a professor who had been my fifth grade teacher. How blessed to learn how to be a teacher from one of my own grade school teachers! We are still in touch after all of these years.
After graduating I went on one interview and was hired on the spot by my soon to be principal. That year there were 4 of us new teachers. It was a small public school called Fellowship Farm. Because it was small, the teachers who had been there for years, were close. They were not at all accepting or welcoming to us new teachers.
Except for the kindergarten teacher, Mary Jane Rinaldi. SHe was like a mother to me. SHe was kind, helpful and accepting. She remembered what it was like to be the new kids on the block.
We became close friends, not only in school but outside of it also. We knew each ocher's families. Her kids were like siblings.
One year she made me the ornament in that photo. I loved it because she made it. By the next Christmas she was gone. Cancer took her from us.
BUt every year when I decorate my tree, I think of those treasured memories of her and her loving kindness to me.
I learned from her to reach out to others who may be new or struggling,not only at school, but in life. I am pretty much an introvert and do not like large social situations. But Where ever I find myself, I try to look around and see who might be having a hard time finding their place. I am that person who reaches out to them to include them.
As we travel this weight loss journey, I find it so comforting to know I am not alone. Here on SP I have found so many people who support and encourage me. ANd I try to do the same. It is part of the legacy of Mary Jane.
Have a beautiful day.