Soul Stories: Write about a Letter


Write about a Letter

I have a hard time keeping up with bookmarks.  I gather 2 or 3 from the check out counter of a bookstore or at the library because I know that I literally will not be able to find them in a day or two.  So, what I have taken to doing is finding random tidbits of papers laying around without a home.
I am sitting on a bench near a pond and I have 2 books with me, neither of them has an ‘official’ slim rectangle laminated place holder.  One has a flyer from a production of Mary Poppins that my daughter was in.   It’s fun to look at the flyer.  It reminds me of the performance and how amazing she was in the rendition of Michael Banks. 

The other book is place marked by a letter a little larger than a postcard.  On one side it is beautifully decorated with handcrafted paper and a lovely magenta and ivory poppy.  On the other side is a collection of words transcribed to a mother by her 4-year-old son, my former student.  It is a thank you letter.  I read it from time to time but nothing about the letter really strikes me.  In fact, I don’t really know why I kept it.  I have a tough time reading it because while I understand the gesture – a desire to teach a student to be grateful for his teacher – I understand that it is the student that does all the hard work and I am just trained as a Montessori teacher to watch and invite a child into a deeper understanding of these new concepts that there for him to explore in the world.

Reading it today, I think about why I liked teaching.  This letter embodies both reasons.   A parent that supports the process is even more valuable than I imagined.  This support alone makes or breaks the school experience for the teacher.  After 5 years of teaching, I choose to step out of the Russian Roulette of teaching. 

I will come across this letter many times in the next few months.  It happens to be placed serendipitously inside a book that I am gathering information from this year.  This letter serves as a marker of courage when I need it to take the next steps to a new undiscovered path.