Memories are funny things. We can’t remember an entire day from our childhood of course (or even last week!) but our brain somehow picks out the bits and pieces that it’s determined are somehow significant and stores them away for years, decades, to pull forward when needed. If you think back to your childhood and your school days, do you have memories that stand out? Does a teacher hold a space, somewhere in the corner of your brain, from your childhood? If given time to think about this, I will bet that you have one of those memories, some way that a teacher impacted you and your brain, to bring forward that memory years later. It’s immeasurable what teachers do, and perhaps our brains somehow know this.
One memory that I have is from third grade. My teacher’s name was Mrs Bousch (name probably misspelled at this point!) who was probably in her 50’s or 60’s at that point (I remember she had white hair), didn’t stand too tall, but was the most gentle and sweet soul any 9 year old girl could ask for.
Reading had quickly become a favorite past time for me, as soon as I mastered it in the first grade, and I was continually yearning to read more books. Unfortunately at our school, there was a rule in our library. It was divided into two sections; the lower level housed tables and chairs, with a long bookshelf below the windows on the outside wall (see how those memories work?) Those books were for students in grades Kindergarten to Grade 3 and mostly consisted of picture books with large print and – I recall – my favorite one among the bunch being Disney’s Cinderella. The upper level (two-steps) contained wall to wall rows and rows of novels. This area was reserved for kids in grades 4-7. I’m not sure why the school had the rules that it did, but I remember walking into that library and yearning for more. I wanted the bigger books, the longer stories, the challenge.
It was Mrs Bousch who recognized the reading ability in me, and who probably saw me slinking around the “big kid” area, who one day walked over to me and asked me if I’d like to try reading the bigger books. I can absolutely remember walking over to the first section, and pulling forward a Judy Blume book. And then, the rest is history! I devoured books, English became and always was my favorite subject, and I won the English award throughout high school for having the highest marks in that subject. And, well, hi. Here I am today. Perhaps I don’t have the accolades of having been a published novelist, but my blog gets me by quite well. 🙂
To celebrate teachers and the amazing, beautiful, and what-seems-ordinary-but-is-not contributions they make to our own lives and that of our children, Microsoft Canada is hosting a wonderful contest that you need to know about! By nominating a special current teacher in your life (perhaps one of your children has a wonderful teacher or you have a family member or friend who is an outstanding teacher that you are in awe of like I do) that teacher could win big for his or her classroom! Plus, each teacher nominated will receive a celebratory note to let them know just how much their hard work in the classroom is remembered well past the end-of-day bell. Check out the awards!
Visit https://microsoft.ca/teachers to share your story and tell Microsoft why you are nominating your teacher (you can also upload a video nomination!)