In honor & celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week…a letter to my teacher…
Dear Miss Swett,
You were an old woman. I was seven. Many children said you were mean. I didn't think you were mean, though. Serious, yes. Mean, no. I can remember the way you spoke to me as I stood by your desk. I can still hear your voice today, over thirty years later. I see your shoes, leather with a Mary Jane strap, and a thick heel. I can even hear your shoes as we walk down the hallway of Prides Corner School. When I think back, I imagine us having a moment without any other children around us, but that could not have possibly been the case. So, I can only conclude that you always made me feel that way.
Why do I have such fond memories of you? Which of your qualities dug into my little spirit? How could one being make such a defining impact on my life? After reflecting for over thirty years on those questions, I may have come up with an answer: you respected me. You respected the child. Now that I have studied Montessori and believe that respect is critical to a child's development, I am grateful to you for beginning to form, to help guide, my ideals as a parent, a friend, and a teacher.
Dr. Maria Montessori wrote: “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” You lived and breathed this belief in your work with children. Thank you for your example. You're attitude toward children was my model.
You spoke to me, a young child, with respect about schoolwork and about life. I was only a child but you spoke to me as though I was a peer. You trusted me. You expected nothing less than that much from me. You understood me as a whole child. Thank you.
With love and gratitude,
Marnie (Randall) Craycroft
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