Full Circle

 Full Circle

Maximus and I went on a quick grocery run to Walmart.  As we walked past the meats section I heard a mother and her young son having a conversation.  She was telling him that he should give school pizza a try, and he did not seem the slight bit interested. I chimed in and here’s how our conversation went.
Me: I used to love the school pizza!
Mom: Me too!
Kid: (looked a little curious)
Me: They used to serve on it Fridays and it was in the shape of a rectangle.
Mom: That’s right, those were the good days.

The mother went on to explain that her son was in Kindergarten and still wanted mom to  is pack his bag for lunch.  She thought he was worried about the entire process of having to learn a lunch number and go through the line. We all continued to talk about how the lunch room ladies would help him if he needed help. He only seemed a little bit more curious.

I eventually asked which school he attends.  He says Breckinridge Franklin. Being a former educator, I ask the name of his teacher.  He says “Mrs. Clark”.  I ask his mother to describe her. And here’s where the full circle comes into play.  See Mrs. Clark is this kid’s kindergarten teacher and I taught Mrs. Clark’s daughter, Katie, in both kindergarten and first grade.  Katie is now a sophomore in college. We were all excited about the coincidence and they couldn’t wait to go to school the following day to tell her. As I walked away, I started reflecting on the youth that I had taught over the years and became curious about both their successes and failures.  I thought about this kid and how much he would change over the next year.

A good education is one of the most valuable things you can possess.  There are many powerful, memorable teachers in Louisville that will leave lasting impressions on your children.  Just know, though, that as powerful a teacher is, reinforcing the educational values/skills at home with a parent/grandparent and/or mentor is just as important.  If you know kids of any age, ask them how school is going thus far. Not just how it is, but what they are studying. Encourage them and tell them about your experiences.  Although most of us didn’t walk 25 miles in the snow to get to work, we can tell about milk breaks, library card catalogues, and fluoride rinses.

It’s About People

“It’s About People”

Part of my job requires me to visit schools to represent teachers.  I had just finished a meeting at Shawnee High School and was in the hallway talking with one of my teachers.  As I walked off, headed toward my car, I heard a small voice say, “Ms. Yeager?”  Ms. Yeager.  I know that name.  I don’t hear that name often.  There are only certain people that call me that name and they usually aren’t more than three apples high.  See, Ms. Yeager was my teaching name.  It’s the name precious little six-year-olds anxiously yelled out when they knew the answer to a question, needed to use the bathroom or excitedly yelled out when they discovered a new word they could read.  Whose voice could this be?

I turned around to see a tall, thin, beautiful teenager.  Right away I knew who it was.  It was Devron Williams, and she was one of my favorite students from my first two years of teaching from 1998-2000.  It’s so hard to imagine that my cute little first graders are now ‘want-to-be grown’ sophomores in high school.  Although she now towered over me, she still glared at me with the same sense of admiration that existed nine years ago.  Devron was always soft spoken and very, very shy.  I remember when we did a holiday play and each child had a talking part.  Although Devron wanted to be in the play, she was too shy to say anything.  So, she became the stuffed teddy bear that just sat there on the stage.  Hey, if it worked for her, it worked for me.

We talked in the hall for several minutes and it was hard to determine who was more excited.  I was impressed that she still remembered a lot of facts about me.  I reflected on all the wonderful stories/letters she wrote for me throughout elementary school.  As I walked away, I realized truly what this holiday season is about. It’s not about snow, or presents, or additional vacation days. It’s not about sales, or college bowl games or a warm bowl of chili (although all of those things are nice).  It’s about people.  I call this my transitional Christmas.  I’ll try to continue some old traditions, while at the same time I’ll slowly develop some new.  So this holiday season, try not to get too caught up the hype and hooplah.  Just when you start feelings stressed or depressed, realize the true meaning of the holidays and surround yourself with positive people or be the positive person for someone else!

*Also, thank you for your input on last’s week fictional scenario.  Both at the LULYP social and online there was very good dialogue between the sexes!*


M.Y.  December 2007