Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ms "J"

The phone it often does in the evenings in our busy household. But tonight, oh tonight, it is someone so very special on the other end - my daughter's teacher. Now, it may seem odd that her teacher calls her, and under typical circumstances I would tend to agree, but allow me to explain.

My daughter Journey started attending a wonderful daycare/preschool immediately after her second birthday. At first impression, I was a bit leery of the classroom in which Journey was being placed but I knew the reputation of the center and I had considered the move for a long time. However, I was not prepared for Ms "J".
Ms "J", upon first observation, was a loud, abrupt, no-nonsense kind of teacher and quite honestly I was frightened of her myself. My baby. In there with her. On the contrary indeed. This is a perfect example of how utterly wrong first impressions can be.

Over the next few months, I saw a relationship grow between these two people - my daughter and her teacher. Strange as it may sound, but oh so precious. Journey bonded and responded to Ms "J" in remarkable ways. She became a 'teacher helper' for the little boy with autism, she became a leader for the younger children, she cuddled on Ms. "J"'s lap after naptime every afternoon for a coveted story, she learned to "potty"; essentially Journey grew from a small dependent toddler to a thriving, independent three year old as I watched in astounded amazement. As time progressed Journey grew and was close to being of the age to move to the next classroom - a transition all three of us were dreading. The day arrived and Journey took her place in the preschool classroom. Even though her brother was still in the classroom, it was a traumatic separation for her. She still saw her beloved Ms. "J" every morning during outside time, but it just wasn't the same. Until...

As it happened, another teacher had been out on maternity leave and upon her return, she was going to be placed in another classroom - thereby displacing our wonderful Ms. "J" ..where else but right smack into Journey's classroom...a twist of fate for sure. The angels were smiling on us that day I am certain.

And so it remains...Journey is thriving and growing more with each passing week. Ms "J" has taught her so many skills that will prepare her not only for Kindergarten, but the "real world". You see, Ms. "J" has high expectations for the children in her classroom, which I have come to respect. "There is nothing you can't at least try to teach a child" is kind of like her motto. She stresses self-help skills as well as preschool learning - both are equally important according to her. For someone looking into the classroom from the outside, as I did three years ago, he/she would observe a loud, seemingly very abrasive teacher, when nothing is further from the truth.
This summer Journey is taking a small break from school although not by her choice of course and Ms "J" is going on a month-long vacation, so back to the phone call that prompted this post.

This evening Journey crawled up to the table and began creating a masterpiece to take to Ms "J" and who should call? The one and only. You got it. Ms "J". Just to chat with "her baby" to tell her she misses her and that her little friends at school miss her. Like I said, they are connected, like two old souls reunited if only for a short while in this human experience we call life - an unexpected chance to enjoy each other's company once again.

Love truly is timeless.


painted maypole said...

what a beautiful testimony to the power of teachers. The May Queen has been blessed with wonderful teachers, too. It makes a world of difference, doesn't it?

niobe said...

It sounds like Ms. J is a very special teacher. And it sounds like Journey is pretty special too.

Joy, of course! said...

How wonderful that Journey has such an exceptional teacher. Some of the strictest teachers I had growing up eventually became the ones that taught me the most about life, the ones I still remember now. Good for you for appreciating what a gem you have.

slouching mom said...

Jack has a teacher as important to him as your Ms. J. is to Journey. He's been in her classroom now for three years. He'll be in her classroom for kindergarten this coming fall.

And when Jack has to switch schools in first grade, we'll all be heartbroken: Jack, Miss K., and I.