Gotta Love Facebook

Eleven years ago, I took the helm of my very first classroom. On that first day, I stared into the faces of 23 fourth-graders and knew, unequivocally, that I had found my calling.

Since that day, those students have gone on to graduate and attend college, but I have been able to reconnect with many of them via Facebook. It has been wild to see their (graduation!) photos and hear about their (college!) experiences. And it’s even better to get messages like this one, which I received from one of my precious former students this week:

I can’t tell you how much I love Facebook in moments like this so that I can fill you in on things :) I am doing a senior “my life” project for a class, and one of the things that we needed to have in our power point were people that have influenced you in your life, and you were one of the people I put in the power point!

I will always credit you as the one who taught me how to read…not just read the words but to comprehend what it is that I am reading, and to actually enjoy reading! Without your amazingly creative reading activities I don’t know when I would have ever learned HOW to really read.

You also helped me grow. 4th grade was still a “blooming year” for me; I was at the school for my first year and I was scared, but you were the perfect person that God placed in my life to help me learn how to reach out. Not only did you introduce me to friends the first day at lunch, but you also helped me and [several of the girls] become such good friends for so long. Also, you helped me learn how to reach out and ask questions when I didn’t understand, and to be ok with the fact that I didn’t understand something. Raising my hand was the hardest thing for me to do for a while :).

Sooo, this extremely long message is basically to say thank you. Thank you for being that special person that God made you to be, I will forever be thankful for all the many many things you taught me. I am truly blessed to have been taught by you!

Yes, I’ll admit it. I teared up a bit (okay,  a lot) when I got this message. Because, as teachers, we put in so much, don’t we? And there’s no such thing as overtime, is there? But this is why we do it. This is what makes it all worth it. This is why we teach.

by Elizabeth Dondiego Cossick, M.Ed.

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