I was in your 4th grade English class. The class was positioned on the far side of an old building that used to be the high school long before my time spent in elementary school.

I’d walk down the side hallway to the classroom on the left. I loved the old windows that opened by a lever and a tilt of the window toward the classroom. I sat mid room in the middle row. You were light and airy and calmed a class with your love for poetry and children. We were learning the Haiku. You shared the syllables by clapping your hands and reading us examples. When it came time for us to try writing our masterpiece, you gave us time, markers, paper, and encouragement. I wrote about Autumn and the leaves falling. I wrote of the leaves looking like “rain in color”. I brought it home to my mother and she was astounded at my creativity and expression. She exclaimed, “Surly this could be published!” You felt the same way and posted my art in a festival. I can’t remember your name, but I can see you, feel you, and remember the largesse belief in us to be poets–writers.

I’m in my 50s now. Many years have passed sense that little red-haired girl sat in 4th grade talking about rain in color, yet, all these years later, I sit, and with gratitude, remember you and your service to us. I prayed for you this morning as I reflected on your love for teaching and your influence in my life. A small time spent with you in my life’s journey influenced my love for words and writing. Thank you.

To all the teachers whose names are forgotten over time by students, your essence and passion are what live on. How you build relationships and what you say matters more than you can ever comprehend. Oh! How precious it is to remember the name of someone great, but what is even greater is to influence someone in such a way that they are filled with hope and beauty for a lifetime. Keep coloring our world with your love and passion.

Never forgotten and forever loved.

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