Today as I walked my rowdy crew of fifth graders chomping at the bit to become middle-schoolers out for dismissal, a kindergartener in another line turned to me and said, “You’re the goodest teacher.”
I don’t know the child, but a whole lot of children I don’t know know me. I’ll be walking through the hall and receive an excited hello with my name. I’ll be headed to my car in the evening and hear a chorus of, “Good-bye Mrs. M! Good-bye!”
My favorite, though, is out in public. I’ll see a student at the grocery store, still dressed in uniform. He or she will stop in the aisle and stare at me like I could not possibly exist outside the tall black metal gates of our school. One little girl I had never met squealed and ran after her mom. “I JUST SAW MRS. M, FROM SCHOOL!”
Children in cars point at me through windows.
Turns out I’m pretty darn famous within a couple mile radius of my school. Not exactly the fame I hoped for as a child watching the academy awards, but instead something meaningful. A reminder that what I do matters to little people I don’t even know yet. Maybe one day they’ll sit in one of my big kid desks and then I’ll know their names.
Until then, I’m just grateful for a wayward compliment from a child who does not know me but must know I need a little love on a challenging day too.