Unexpected Fame: You’re the Goodest Teacher

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.

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8 thoughts on “Unexpected Fame: You’re the Goodest Teacher

  1. kingmidget says:

    Once again, a powerful reminder of how incredible kids that age are. Such simple statements, looks, and reactions can make such a huge difference.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Yes, thank goodness they are full of so many saving graces! 😉 (And, thanks for wading through a messy post, reread it and found a bunch of errors… tired writing at its best!)

      • kingmidget says:

        Didn’t notice anything. I just like the way you write about your kids. Makes me wish, like I did when my own children started elementary school, that I had opted for a different career path. I can imagine much worse things than being surrounded by 20-30 elementary age children for six or seven hours a day.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Yes, I agree with that statement. Teaching is pretty much the best career path I could come up with after I tried other things… Minus of course writing. While I’m happy with the choice, I also didn’t realize how exhausting it would be. I work more and harder than I did before, but I’m also happier, so I guess it’s worth it. 🙂

      • kingmidget says:

        It’s a good exhaustion though. Unlike the one I feel at the end of the day … beaten down by the boredom of what I do, the lack of fulfillment, and the desire to be doing something else. 🙂

      • oliviaobryon says:

        I used to know that feeling all too well. I’m grateful it’s gone. You’re right. It’s never too late for escape…

  2. jeffo says:

    I remember the shocked feeling of seeing one of my teachers outside of school for the first time. It’s so…strange.

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