I grew up as a teacher’s kid. I still remember the school my mother taught in, the musty smell of the hallways, the lockers that lined the walls of a once segregated junior high school turned elementary school. The small room my mother kept as a speech therapist tucked behind the library. I’d pass by her room with my classmates on the way to the library. They’d exclaim, “Mrs. Respess, oh, that’s your mom! Cool!” As an elementary school student, I stood proud, happy to have my mom nearby.
My mom, calm and quiet, went about her work in a loving and cheerful way. She enjoyed her students and her job. She also seemed composed, organized, and prepared. This created a comfortable stability in my life. One item I remember that she always kept close at hand was her coffee cup. It was white with a flower imprint on one side and a scripture written on the other. I always loved that coffee cup and would study it at times. After my first year of teaching my mom gave it to me.
Whenever I drink from it now, walking around my classroom or greeting my students for the day ahead, I think of her and an immense comfort washes over me. Like me, she stood in the hallways, greeting students in the morning, fervently working with the same cup in her hand. That brings comfort, but more importantly strength. She did the often hard work of teaching and I can do it, too.
This may seem small or insignificant, but sometimes finding those small treasures can make all the difference in attitude and outlook for the school day ahead.
What small comforts do you treasure as a teacher? I would love to hear your story, too.
Wishing all teachers a wonderful Monday morning, one in which you can treasure the simple comforts.