The story story

In my subbing, I’m using a lot of what I learned from my children’s best teachers. I volunteered in their classes every week, and knew which teachers were worth their stuff.

My kids’ first-grade teacher was that teacher they make movies about. Her demeanor was patient and maternal; her consequences were consistent; her lessons were creative. She was always on top of the latest findings in education. More than any teacher I’ve watched, she had a reason for the way she said or did everything.

And she sang and played guitar.

By the greatest stroke of luck, she was my son’s teacher when he went through his second surgery, the one to remove the tumors. It eased my mind that she was who I was turning him over to during this emotional year.

When I saw her again this fall, I learned that he had an emotional impact on her, too.

She had done a segment on author style. The children had to write a story in a famous writer’s voice. My son wrote “How the Cobra got its Hood,” a la Rudyard Kipling.

It was about a baby cobra whose parents were divorcing. As they fought for custody, tugging the child this way and that, they permanently changed their little one.

We were stunned. We didn’t know anybody with kids who had divorced. How did he get custody battles in his frame of reference?

The next year this teacher divorced, and her husband threatened to fight her for the kids.

She remembered my son’s story, and in an act of selflessness and love, let him have them.

It scares me some that he motivated her to do such a painful thing.

She shared with me that she believes she was being a sent a message.

All these years she was thinking of him, letting him influence her actions, and here I am everyday among children in my new job, trying to be her.

We didn’t even know.

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4 Responses to “The story story”

  1. Gunky Says:

    Wow. On so many levels.

  2. T. Says:

    Fun fact: today (five days after this story posted) i had her youngest daughter in the spanish class i subbed for.

  3. Rhonda Says:

    Ditto what Gunky said.

  4. My son’s second surgery « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] interrupted his first-grade class to tell him about it. Sold. A producer bag has better tricks in […]

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