Memories of a Special Teacher
it plays in your mind and you realize how fortunate you were to have met that person.
For me, that person was Mrs. Anderson, my elementary school teacher. Due to budget cuts and inadequate insurance,
the teachers in our grade school left their jobs. In spring, the resignation slips landed on the principal's desk and the
search began to hire new teachers. The one teacher who stayed was Mrs. Anderson and she would move to whatever
classroom needed her. I was lucky, she taught me for three years, third grade thru the fifth grade.
Mrs. A. would laugh and tell our class, "I'm a late bloomer, a teacher at 55 years of age. After Bob died, I decided to go for it,
and here I am! Helping my husband in his canvas business kept me busy but now I'm living my dream." We were glad
that Bob died because we sure liked Mrs. Anderson.
The apple thing started out by accident. In the third grade a new kid came and brought our teacher an apple. We laughed.
Mrs. A. shined that apple and sat it on her desk and told us, "Class, it's story time." She read us a book about
Johnny Appleseed and then ended our story hour with a book about kindness. We didn't laugh anymore because
the next day Mrs. Anderson brought us an apple crisp. We ate it while she read books. From then on all of us started
bringing apples. What fun we had listening to the stories and eating our teacher's apple desserts.
When you've had the same teacher for three years you learn about their routine. Every morning we were greeted with
"Class, line up at the pencil sharpener, sharp pencils means sharp brains." We knew when we visited the library
that Mrs. Anderson would stay with us. All the other teachers left their class with the librarian. But our teacher stayed with
us, helping us with our book selections. Later, I knew she stayed because she loved us.
How funny in the third grade when she said, "Class, get your text book, the math one." She always called them
text books. We finally figured out that she liked to say the word text, especially the letter X. By the time we entered
the fifth grade she said, "Class, get your texxxt book, the English one. Do you know what it means to read in contexxxt?"
She helped fix my broken backpack strap. For three years, I had carried the same pack, my dad picked it out.
He said, "Sally, get this princess one, because that's what you are." One week later he left me and my mom.
In the fifth grade the girls started teasing me, calling me the "princess girl." Mrs. Anderson knew why I carried it,
I told her in the fourth grade. She understood when I said, "That sometimes I love my backpack and
sometimes I hate it."
One day,after seeing the broken strap she asked me to stay after school. We sat at a table and she pulled out of her bag a funny
looking gadget. She said, "This is one of Bob's canvas tools, we'll get this pack fixed up in no time." While she weaved the
string back and forth she explained to me about broken things, "Sally, just because something is broken, it doesn't mean that it can't
be fixed. See this string how it's mending your backpack, making it whole again? There's is always hope that things
can change, don't ever forget that."
I will never forget my teacher or her kindness, and the lesson she taught me. I kept my princess pack and my daughter will
hug it and say, "Tell me the story about your teacher."
Mrs. Anderson was right, broken things can be fixed. Now, me and my dad spend time together, mending our relationship.
And when it comes to Mrs. Anderson and my memories of her, it hurts because I miss her. But then, I hear the sound of a teacher
who is sewing and explaining about broken things to a little girl. And I think, my teacher was one smart woman.