Someone who was a very special mentor in my life recently appeared thanks to my classmate Barbara. She has been looking up addresses and phone numbers for my 50th Reunion from High School. I asked Barb to do me a personal favor by using her Lexis Nexis.
Barb helped me find Hattie Green, a very special principal in my life. Sure enough she found this very special person’s personal information.
First I mailed Hattie my book along with a personal note card. Then I mustered up the courage to hear her voice once again. This beautiful African-American woman with shiny silver hair answered the phone with her loving southern accent. My anxiety lessened when I heard her voice once again after 30 years. When she answered the phone she screamed, “SHARON! I received your book and it is simply precious. I read the front chapters quickly and then found the part where you talked about me.” I told her how much I had to thank her for making me the outstanding educator I am today. She was responsible for impressing it upon me to teach to the whole child and not a label.
To my surprise she recognized some of the stories even though the students names were changed. She vividly remembered the story of the Board member’s son who was placed in my class because of my kind, loving personality. He was scheduled to go to a special school for challenging students. She reminded me of how I spent an entire summer with extreme anxiety. I was so worried due to the remarks of his prior teacher. She then said, “Do you remember that I told you, if you could teach Dennis, you could teach any student and look what you have done and how far you have come. I am so proud of you!” When we hung up my last words to her “Hattie, I love you and I thank God you were in my life”! We laughed and we cried. This beautiful 92 year old woman instilled positive values in her students and staff. Love, kindness and respect permeated her presence. Take the time to thank someone for making a big difference in your life. It will be a wonderful experience for both of you, beyond your wildest dreams!