Monday, August 02, 2010

Profiles in Greatness Ep. 2

It should be mentioned that I greatly appreciate the vast majority of those who taught me throughout my formal education. And while I am honoring those whom I perceive as great, there is no ill-intent towards any of the others.

Ms. Salva and Mr. Wood (4th Grade)

The "quad," or at least the half of the quad which housed fourth grade operated with the efficiency of a Superbowl winning football team. The head coach, clearly Ms. Salva, didn't miss a single screw-up. And just when I might begin to feel that haunting sense of failure, the assistant coach, Mr. Wood, stepped in to lighten the mood.

To be honest, I can't recall which one taught what subject. No matter, really. The end result was success. I feared letting them down, not because I was prone to people pleasing as some are, but because I could sense their investment in me, in all of us. The two of them loved us dearly. If there is a smile to be forgotten, it won't be Ms. Salva's beaming one. Each time I good-naturedly tease a student, Mr. Wood comes to mind. He had a way of making the classroom feel like family; and in families, teasing shows love. But he wasn't just a clown. He was smart--smart enough to know that Ms. Salva was in charge!

Ms. Salva and Mr. Wood taught me to love my students, to treat them like family. Sometimes that means a session in the "Pow and Wow" room for a stern reprimand. Other times it means messing up a kid's hair to remind them that they do, in fact, exist. So thank you, Ms. Salva and Mr. Wood, for making school a place I wanted to be. And thanks for reading A Bridge to Terabithia--I cried then and last year when I read it again.


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