When I was in the first grade my teacher was wonderful! She made me believe in myself and let me know that it was ok to not be like everyone else. She taught me to love reading. She taught me about being a part of a class community...before that was the latest trend in education. And she called me Little Miss Sunshine. Always she called me that. The day I graduated high school I got a card from her calling me Little Miss Sunshine. When I was in college I would get cards from her that said "To My Little Miss Sunshine". The week I moved home from college she greeted me at church with a hug and a "Good Morning Little Miss Sunshine". I know that she cared about me and my education. And did I mention that she (in conjunction with my mother of course) taught me to LOVE reading.
A few weeks ago that teacher who I love so dearly passed away. I sat behind her daughter at church and tried to think of things to say. A way to express how much her mother had meant to me. How my love of learning and my eventually becoming a teacher was thanks in part to how wonderful of a teacher her mother had been. And all I could say was good morning how are you? (Words are hard sometimes.)
I have thought about it a lot. I want to be the version of me that deserves to be called Little Miss Sunshine. And I want to give my students memories that will carry them through their lives so at the end of mine they can say that I touched their life the way Mrs. Carter touched mine. Great teachers are never forgotten. They are remembered always in the lessons they leave behind.