Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Pat on the Back From Heaven

The strangest thing happened today.

I was on my way to pick Addie up from Jazz Band (yes, it snowed again ... I'm just laughing about it at this point, even though the snowbanks in my driveway are taller than I am), and I decided to stop at the gas station to hit up the ATM and grab a Diet Coke.

As I was paying for my stuff, I looked at the cashier's nametag and immediately recognized the name (it's a pretty unique name).

Okay, let me back up for a second here. I've written before about what an amazing person my stepfather was and how I miss him every day even though he's been gone for six years now. After he passed, a memorial scholarship was set up in his name to be awarded to a high school senior who had shown remarkable perseverance in the face of many obstacles (although he ended up being a very successful man, my stepdad fought incredibly hard to get there ... and he gave the credit to a high school teacher who believed in him when nobody else did).

Anyway, I was pretty sure the girl scanning my Diet Coke had been awarded the scholarship a couple of years ago. I went back and forth about asking her, and I finally figured, might as well.

I am so glad that I did!

She remembered both receiving the scholarship and its nature. I told her a little bit about my stepdad, and she said she was truly honored to have been awarded it.

The best part?

She's still in school! I was hoping this was the case and kind of assumed she was since the gas station pretty much abuts the campus of New Hampshire's biggest university, but I didn't know for sure until I asked.

I told her that my stepdad would be very proud to know that. She got a little teary-eyed, I got a lot teary-eyed, then some college kid behind me trying to buy a case of beer started clearing his throat impatiently, so I thanked her again and left.

What was incredible about this happening today of all days is that I got my classroom observation write-up and had an evaluation meeting with the principal today (I got a good report :-)). I never would have become a teacher if not for my stepdad--he motivated me and believed in me when nobody else did and encouraged me and was incredibly proud that I entered the education field.

Running into a girl who had received his scholarship on the same day that I heard from my principal that I'm doing a good job was kind of like getting a pat on the back from heaven.

Are Minorities Discouraged from Taking Upper-Level Classes?: The Elephant in the Room

As a public school teacher for sixteen years, I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen Standards come and go (and despite the brou...