Her name was Miss Smith. She had long, auburn hair flowing down her back. After recess, the girls took turns brushing her hair while she read aloud beautiful, magical words. She was the prettiest teacher in school and she made my heart soar.
Reading was hard. I didn’t like it. Those symbols called letters didn’t make sense to me and the sounds didn’t always go together like others could. Each letter made words hard, and sentences scrambled. After reading a few sentences, I would have to reread them all over; I had no clue what I just read. Just sounds, not words. I labored day after day after day and now I was in third grade.
Reading would have remained a mystery to me if Miss Smith hadn’t labored beside me. Her patience and tenderness made me try, persisting through the awful hardness. Looking back, her dedication and strength was a legacy passed to me. Reading became stories, not a chore.
Today, I learned one of my students moved away. No good-bye, just an absence. I’ve been working with this little girl since kindergarten, summer school included, and her smile warmed my heart. She was sunshine with hugs and special notes. Daily I was battling alongside her to make the letter-symbols make sense of story. She was conquering and her understanding broadened. Story was real and her love of reading broadened. The legacy Miss Smith bestowed to me, I gifted to her. My hope is her heart is warmed with the courage, strength, and vivaciousness when she thinks of me. Hopefully, the legacy of reading will be gifted on.