What Can One Teacher Do?
Lisa bounced in her seat. The bus stopped only two more times and then arrived at school. She rushed out of the bus and headed toward her classroom upstairs. She liked school. She learned how to read and enjoyed the world it opened up to her. More than anything, though, she loved her teacher.
Lisa smiled as Mrs. Eaton helped her remove her coat and placed her belongings in the closet.
“How are you today?” Her teacher asked as she patted her head.
“Better then yesterday. I miss Mittens but glad for Smokey.”
“I’m glad for Smokey, too.”
Lisa smiled as she took her chair. Mrs. Eaton always seemed to have the words that helped her. She remembered her teacher’s arms around her the day before when she came into class crying.
“What’s wrong, Lisa?”
“Mittens got hit by a car,” Lisa wept. “I looked out the window and saw him squashed on the side of the road.”
Mrs. Eaton wrapped Lisa into her arms and allowed the tears to freely flow. She wished her mother allowed her to cry but instead she yelled if she did.
“If only my mommy would love me as much as my brother,” Lisa thought. “I’m glad my teacher loves me.”
Before she knew it the morning was over and as lunch finished then recess arrived. The weather allowed them to play outside. Lisa and several of the girls decided it would be fun to chase some of the boys. They bragged about how fast they ran, but Lisa and some of the girls tagged them several times.
Suddenly, without any warning, Lisa came around the side of the swings and tripped. She landed on both of her knees. The pain instantly shot up her legs, and she began to cry. She feared what the kids would say, but especially Mrs. Eaton.
“Get up off of the ground and stop that whining,” is what her mother would say, but her mother wasn’t here.
Lisa felt arms around her and heard the most comforting words any six-year-old dreamed to hear when they got hurt, “Are you okay?”
Lisa looked down and saw blood oozing from her knee.
“It’s okay. I’ll take care of you,” Mrs. Eaton promised. She waved to the other teacher who came beside them.
“I’m going to take Lisa in to see the nurse,” she told her. “Can you walk okay?”
Mrs. Eaton grabbed her arm and helped her up. Her knees stung, but she limped inside while her teacher held her hand. Her heart sang as she realized she wasn’t in trouble.
Lisa thought she’d be left alone with the nurse but that never happened either. After the nurse gently removed the rocks and cleaned her sore, she walked back to the playground with her teacher beside her. They found a spot outside and sat together until recess ended. The other girls tried to get her to play again, but she liked what she felt being next to her teacher. She didn’t understand it but wanted it to last forever.
Later as story time approached Lisa discovered she needed to go to the bathroom. She raised her hand and received permission to leave. She rushed out of the room and across the hall. She hoped she didn’t miss too much of the story.
After she washed her hands, she went to unlock the door. It refused to open. She turned and tugged, but nothing budged. Fear instantly gripped her heart as tears stung her cheeks.
“How am I going to get out of here?”
The longer she tried the more frightened she became as it refused to open. As she began to scream and pound on the door, she knew a severe scolding awaited her. It seemed like hours before she heard the voice of the principal from the other side of the door.
“Lisa, calm down.”
“I can’t get out.”
“I’ve got a key. It’s okay.”
Lisa settled down as she heard him fiddle with the door but panicked about Mrs. Eaton’s reaction. Would she be sent to the corner? Would she be yelled at? What if she stopped smiling at her, patting her head, or holding her hand? She wanted out of the bathroom but was scared.
As the door finally opened, Mrs. Eaton rushed in and threw her arms around the frightened child. Lisa sighed and smiled. She finally rested in the arms of someone she knew loved her.
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