Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom. - Theodore Isaac Rubin

Monday, November 5, 2007

Scotch Taped Self-Esteem

Day 2 of a Week of Positive Blogging:

Posts about a person who inspired you to excel in life or who actually saved your life.

Mrs. Johnson - my 4th grade teacher. I will warn you, it starts out with a sad tone, but it has a positive message.

I am a nerd. Many people probably don't know why, not even my closest of friends. They also probably don't understand why scotch tape is my favorite smell or why I get an unnatural pleasure from school supplies in general. Even more weird, I LOVE school. I like homework. I used to play "school" when I was younger and this girl would assign me homework and I would actually do it, for fun!! Freak! Well the reason is, school was the best part of my childhood. Ex co-workers used to say I could guess the colors of crayons of a 64 pack by tasting them :) .

Not having the greatest childhood, I carried much of my stressful home life to school. I was a very shy, withdrawn kid that just tried not to bring attention to herself. On one of my worst days, I went to recess and hid behind some equipment and just cried to myself. It scared me at first when I realized my teacher had seen me.
She came over and gave me a hug. She was a smart woman, she obviously knew what was going on. She said, "You are a great kid. I wish I could adopt you and take care of you." I started to cry and told her I never wanted to go home again. She wiped away my tears and said "It'll get better, I promise. Just keep doing well in school and do your best, you'll go to college and make your own life. You are a very smart girl." From then on I always wanted to do the best in the class. I was teacher's pet. The next year, I did so many book reports, they made a custom-made trophy for me; for which I am teased to no end for winning.
For Christmas I made her a name plate for her desk that said Mrs. Johnson in all different shades of pink and purple. It was hideous, but she proudly displayed it the rest of the year. Every so often she would make time for us to talk. I would confide in her and began to trust her. She never told anyone, at least not that I ever found out.

She helped me rebuild my shattered self-esteem. I am so grateful that she reached out to me. I've always kind of considered being a teacher myself because of her. I would say she made the biggest difference in my life out of everyone I've know. Don't underestimate the impact you can make in another's life.