because I remember and it is nice

My fourth-grade teacher was a short, sweet lady.

She wore festive holiday sweatshirts with those scarves and collar things with the fun, adorable prints of patterns or scenes like snowy landscapes or fall leaves.

Her husband came to class and played guitar and sang songs he’d written himself.

I sat up in bed this morning and something about the draft in the air and the reminder of the time of year, made me think about Mrs. McLeod, so I got up and got my laptop out…and I found this video and there they were! πŸ˜€ It did my heart good to hear and see her, plus I admire how she and her husband have dedicated their lives to helping others, which is what the video is about.

I’ve been spending time counting my blessings lately, just because I feel compelled.

When I think about my 4th grade teacher, I can’t help but appreciate now, more than I could have possibly have understood then, what a positive, loving influence she was in my life.

So in celebration of the woman, I remember to be the first teacher who did not dread me based on my goofy brother’s legacy (hehe), I am compiling a list of reasons I am so thankful I spent that school year with that particular teacher.

*clears her throat and pushes her shoulders back*

She was funny, on purpose.

My brother was two grades higher and a more-than-mild misbehaver. Each year, when we bumped up to the new grade and the teacher would be learning your name and who you are, this kinda funny thing happened. Just like the others, she muttered my last name, looking up at the ceiling or something sort of like it, and asked, “Are you Justin’s sister?” To which, I’d nod, blush, grimace or something–because I knew the usual response to my confirmation (laughter and a sort of uh-oh remark), but she just smiled and said something like, “I know Justin.” Then she went back to her roll call.

She encouraged me to write poetry, even though it was not great. In fact, two years later, I had a poem published in one of those free take one swap and shop things you get outside the grocery store, and I asked my 6th grade teacher if I could go and show Mrs. McLeod and she looked at me kinda funny but said ‘yes’, so I did, and even though I was totally interrupting her class and what she was doing, she was so sweet and proud of me for the simple little accomplishment. πŸ™‚

When my friends made fun of me because I liked circus clowns, she stood up for me and said she liked clowns too.

She never yelled, even when the boys were doing their dead-level best to push her over the edge. She just swiped the sweat from her face or neck, eyes all wide and bewildered, and wrote the name on the board and went back to her desk.

Her shoes always flip-flopped against her feet and the floor when she walked, so you could hear her coming down the hall. So if you were misbehaving while she was out of the room, you had fair warning to get your act together before she made it back. Obvi this was a total accident and not something she did on purpose, but I remember it and it makes me smile.

She used to read us Judy Blume! πŸ™‚ Superfudge, Tales of the 4th Grade Nothing, Otherwise Known as Shelia the GreatΒ My favorite time of day! πŸ™‚

One time, my friend Karly, who was a very mouthy little skamp, said to the teacher who had just said to all of us–“The next person who talks will get their name on the board.” <—Mrs. Mcleod.Β  —-> Karly, “Well, you should put YOUR name on the board because you are talking.” I was so shocked you could have knocked me over with a feather–Karly was bad and she was gonna get it for sure. All the boys snickered and giggled. Karly folded her little arms, swatted her blond hair back and waited with a big, bold smile on her face. Mrs. Mcleod (who was clearly at rope’s end with all the stress of dealing with naughty behavior) kinda squinted at her, turned around and walked off. πŸ˜‰

*does a dorky curtsy and sits back down*

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