Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Do I Teach?

This post was written by my sister, Nancy, on October 6, 2008, on the first year that school began without "Mrs. Tufts" in her classroom. I'd like to dedicate this post to all the students, teachers, and support staff who are returning to school this week...and to the parents who work so hard to get the children ready. Although Nancy passed away two years after she wrote this post, her spirit lives on through her Elise.

Why Do I Teach?

Every once in a while, since I've been home sick, someone will ask me if I miss teaching. After 32 years, it probably sounds pretty good to be able to stay in bed after 5:15 am. instead of getting up for school. I really miss the kids but tell myself that they are probably just fine and don't even realize I'm not there. Then out of the blue a note, or in this case an e-mail, will just touch your heart and remind you that sometimes your efforts do make a difference in a child's life. I got one of those the other day, when I was feeling especially down and wishing this whole cancer thing wasn't a part of my life. The email is from the Mom of a terrific girl, Elise. I had Elise for the last two years in my grade 3/4 looping class. She is just a gift--smart, kind, funny, unique... the kind of student every teacher wishes they could have just once in their career. I hope that Elise's Mom, doesn't mind me posting her email on the blog:

I have an angel of a daughter fast asleep with you in her heart.
She had heard rumors of your health. In fact the other day I held my precious daughter in my arms as she sobbed.
I have to say...once have no idea what you did for my daughter or the magnitude of love she has for you. I'm not sure I have any idea either HA! But somewhere in third or fourth grade Elise made a life long connection to YOU!
She misses you and longs to see you.
UGH!!! I feel so stupid. You have cancer. A cancer that left and was never supposed to return. I just have a daughter who loves you to pieces and wants to hear from you.
Tonight, as we drove home from Open House, Elise said," I just wanted a hug from Mrs. Tufts."
Elsie went to bed holding you in white healing light and I am doing the same.
Be well!
Thanks! Oodles of blessings!

So for everyone who wonders why I teach--these rare gifts are the reason why--thanks Elise and Mom, you made my day--I'll fight on!

Posted by Nancy 10/6/08


Linda @ A La Carte said...

What a beautiful person your sister was! Wonderful post and a great reminder of why such amazing people teach!

Ranger 911 said...

My sister-in-law was also a teacher and coach and lost her battle with breast cancer 11 years ago at age 33. She loved life and especially loved teaching and coaching. Her students and staff were like a second family to her during her battle. Her hope was that she would not be forgotten. And she never will be. In a way they live on through lives they touched.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

That was beautiful.

Pamela Gordon said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sister and to teachers. Blessings and hugs to you today. Pamela

Sheila said...

I just happened upon your blog today and it sure tugs at my heartstrings. Nancy must have been a loving caring person and a very special teacher. I'll be back to visit again.