Goodnight’s Kindergarten teacher (KT) is retiring after today. I ran into her after the graduation ceremony for the eight-graders a couple of nights ago and we had a chat.
She knows how much I’ve appreciated her, but I wanted to take one more opportunity to tell her. She is the first teacher Goodnight had after Angel died. KT met GN’s mother at Kindergarten-roundup, but Angel didn’t last long after that. By GN’s first day of school, Angel was gone.
When we chatted the other evening, I just wanted to express my gratitude for her patience and kindness. I know it wasn’t Goodnight’s most difficult year, but doing everything without her mom had its struggles. KT and I laughed and cried together as we chatted.
But then . . . . she told me a story I had never heard before.
“I’ll never forget that little granddaughter of yours. There was a boy in her class who cried all the time. He cried from the time he was dropped off, until he was picked up after school. He missed his mommy.
“One day, Goodnight had enough. She stormed out of her desk, marched over to the boy, put her face in his face and screamed at the top of her lungs, “LOOK! YOU ARE GOING TO SEE YOUR MOMMY IN TWO HOURS! MY MOMMY IS DEAD AND I AM NEVER GOING TO SEE HER AGAIN!! SO JUST SHUT-UP, OK?
Then Goodnight went back to her desk and sat down. I waited a moment, then took a deep breath and quietly said to the boy, “You know . . . she’s right.
The little boy never cried after that.”
When Goodnight and I got home after the graduation ceremony, we sat down for a chat. I told her the story that KT had told me. Goodnight laughed until tears streamed down her cheeks.
Then she got very quiet and said. “I should have been sent to the principal.”
Gram: Yes. That kind of behavior is very intimidating.
GN: And then they would have called you to come to school.
Gram: Yes, they would have.
GN: Oh my goodness. Everyone who was in that class is still at that school except for ‘Henry’. I should ask the teacher who it was so I can apologize. I hope it wasn’t Henry. Henry doesn’t go there any more.
It was Henry.
Goodnight headed to her last day of school today with a card for KT, some peonies from our garden, and a pocketful of hugs – in extreme gratitude.
Goodnight also took the time to write thank-you notes to all of her other teachers, as well. She did this without any prompting from me. To her Science teacher, she wrote, “You are a great teacher, better than Ag or Au.” (Silver of Gold.) The note to her Spanish teacher was in Spanish. And so it went.
She thanked them all . . . . except one. That one has some work to do on her teaching, I guess.