Friday, April 18, 2014

{Teachers Change Lives}

One of my very first students was a second grade girl named Sarah*.

She was shy. Painfully shy.

I could barely get her to say two words most days, let alone really tell if her reading was improving.

She did the work that I gave her, but oh how she struggled.

As a reading teacher I worked with her for 4 years in a row before she left to go to the middle school; however, I didn't feel I was making a difference in her life. 

And much to my despair, I would hear others say that she wasn't very smart, but not do much else in the way of going to college or having a career.

Never once did I give up on her.

That was 12 years ago and I had just started teaching.

In December of that first year, my grandfather also passed away.

I will never forget the day of his funeral...

As I sat there in the church, I watched the people pour in and mingle and sit and quietly talk.

I was in awe of this because by the time the service started there was standing room only in the church.

To be perfectly honest, there was very little standing room. 

It's not that his death was a tragedy… it was just the end of a man’s long and lovely life.

What I would like you to know though, is that my grandfather was a teacher for more than 3 decades.

A music teacher.

He taught orchestra.
He taught marching band.
He taught concert band.

Most importantly, he taught kids how to make music.

And on that chilly, albeit lovely day many of my grandpa’s former students packed that church to pay their final respects.

Some even brought their instruments…

Oh when the saints.... go marching in...

After all the years that had passed, my grandfather had not been forgotten.

He had inspired so many people…grown adults still making music!

A true testament that teachers do change lives.

I could never imagine then how that celebration of a kind man's life would impact my teaching career now.

You see, my Sarah is now 20.

And 2 years ago, she earned a full scholarship to a very prestigious private college in this state for graphic design.

I know now that I did help her, even if in a small way.

Oh when the saints go marching in.
How I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in.

She opened her acceptance letter with a fellow teacher from our school, who was like a second mother to her, and as they cried over the wonderful news…Sarah said, 

“I couldn't have done this without my teachers at BC Street School".

When I heard this it was 
music. to. my. ears.

Thank you, Grandpa for being an inspiration to me.

Thank you, Sarah for never giving up. 

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Education comes in all forms…it is the common thread that we all wear.

Please, join me in celebrating the Office Depot Teachers Change Lives Campaign. You can donate to the teacher highlighted in the video, or a teacher in your local community.

Do you know a teacher who spends their own money on their classroom? I know many teachers that do. If you believe teachers can change lives then you can help!

·         Go to Teachers Change Lives
·         Click on the “Donate to a Teacher” box which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
·         Follow the steps provided

You can donate to the teacher highlighted in the video, or a teacher in your local community!

Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for their students.

Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. The content and opinions expressed here are completely my own. 

{*Names were changed to protect the innocent}.


  1. You made me cry!! I remember you talking about your "Sarah" and how worried you were about her.

  2. Great story....your grandfather did make a difference and so are your!

  3. Thank you, Robin! There actually a lot of teachers in my family. My great grandma taught in a one room school house.


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