Thursday, April 10, 2008

Miss Rose

I was a shy 2nd grader. It was one of those years every child has when they don't connect well with a particular teacher. Mrs. Bowman was big, scary, and past retirement age. She had a reputation for being what children refer to as "really mean." Even at the end of the school year, she was still calling me an assortment of girls' names which start with "S." Shelly, Shirley, whatever. She didn't know my name or didn't remember it. My self-esteem registered at zero. Mid-year a student teacher was assigned to our class.

Enter Miss Rose. When Miss Rose was there, Mrs. Bowman didn't yell and her demeanor changed. And Miss Rose, well, she was wonderful! When Miss Rose came into my life, I stood on a level playing field again with the rest of the world. She would look into my eyes, smile at me, and always had a positive word about my accomplishments.

One day it ended. Miss Rose was leaving, her student teaching duties complete. She also announced she was getting married, and soon an engagement notice appeared in the newspaper with her picture. I cut it out, put it in a drawer, and kept it until it was tattered. While walking home from school after giving her a goodbye hug on her last day, the tears came forcefully. How would I ever go on without Miss Rose? But I did....the grief passed, and the faded newspaper clipping disappeared with the passage of time. I still recall so vividly what a gift her kindness was to a young girl who felt quite insignificant.

Kindness has a remarkable effect on people. It's more than the opposite of "mean." It's an intentional act that can be life-changing.


Unknown said...

Hi Sheryl, what a great and appealing page! I was inspired to be intentional when I speak with people. Kindness makes an impact on those people we run into on a daily basis - even our families.

Rich said...

Hi. This is Rich, posting from an iPhone. Great job on the blog.