03-16, Unexpected Sunshine

One of my favorite former 2nd graders – and the source of many of my brightest days as a teacher

In recent days, I’ve felt some serious sadness for reasons that felt far beyond my control; but, among the commitments I’ve tried to keep to myself – is to write faithfully in the Slice of Life Challenge. So, I went “flipping” again today through old photos, and came across this ray of sunshine.

Have you ever seen one of your students, on a day when you weren’t trying to be a teacher? This was clearly one of my not-so-much-makeup, not-feeling-extra-cute, hoodie-at-my-oldest-son’s-basketball-game, Saturday-of-non-teaching-ness days where I was actually hoping to be lost in the crowd – and then, I heard the greeting (from clear across the gymnasium) that had become so familiar to me since stepping into the noblest profession of all: “Msssssss. Broooowwwnnnn!!!!

I remember thinking, “That’s definitely one of my students, but who knew I was here at the game?” What made it even greater than I could ever have imagined was not only was this my second grader, this was my former second grader – now middle schooler. She was taller than I was. She was elated to see me, and she punctuated it with, “Mrs. Brown, you are still the best teacher I’ve ever had.”

And she was one of the best students I’d ever had. I’m amazed at the wealth of wonderful memories that flooded me on that day years ago and on today as I reflect on many of the best parts of my teaching career. How wonderful it was to see this photograph in a moment when my heart was otherwise hurting.

I’ve been fortunate enough to run into many of my students long after they’ve left my classroom. I’ve even had a few parents message me about their progress as they began high school and express their appreciation for what we learned in our room of tiny 7 and 8 yr. olds. On the days when their seems to be an abundant amount of glum available, I’m so grateful for the rays of sunshine that can permeate those clouds.

Thank You Hannah Banana. Your sunshine has always meant the world to me.

#oneofmyfavoritegirls #feelingbetter #teachingtoucheslivesforever #evenwhenitsnotperfect #kidsloveunconditionally #imsograteful #whatawonderfulcalling #literacylove #carlamichelle

12 thoughts on “03-16, Unexpected Sunshine

  1. I am so glad that you got this much needed ray of sunshine in a time where you are surrounded by heavy fog.. The light and joy you invested in this student has been reflected back to you at this needed moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me, too. It started my day on a most wonderful note. I think we could use more of these. The world of teaching is not always easiest – but its rewards are, in my opinion, indisputably priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed it is – especially when it’s the farthest thing from your mind. I’m glad to have that memory on which to draw. It was so special to me. I won’t soon forget it.


  2. Here’s a sentence of yours to sit with today:
    “On the days when their seems to be an abundant amount of glum available, I’m so grateful for the rays of sunshine that can permeate those clouds.”
    Great story. A reminder that our work resonates down the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kevin, for drawing my attention to this line again. I can’t help but notice how widespread that glumness seems in our world.

      I am that much more thankful for these bright lights. Ironically, this was also one of my most intuitive students – who was always concerned that “Mrs. Brown was o.k.” if she ever thought the class wasn’t having a perfect day (smile).

      What a blessing it is to have such a kind-hearted student for an entire school year. It was truly endearing.

      Would you believe she had her father to hand-sew an entire costume of the Lorax’s main character from scratch for a special project? She was absolutely amazing…


      Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback. I appreciate it greatly.

      ~Carla Michelle


  3. And thank you, Carla! Your first line felt so familiar and I am carrying this sadness for parts of life beyond my control. And, I’ve committed to write as well. Your unexpected sunshine inspired me to look for mine and I am so thankful that reading this post was just that; my unexpected sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It breaks my heart that our sadness is shared, but I’m so thankful that we are both present in this literary adventure as well – committed to pouring our most poignant moments into written art.

      I’m also delighted to hear you found your sunshine with Hannah’s rays. Perhaps, she has been a blessing to many more than me today. How special. Thank you so much for sharing your sentiments with me. it means the world. #smiling

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is an overwhelming delight. I often think that once they get much older that second grade will seem unbelievably simple, if not fairly uneventful. That they remember activities, songs, and sentimental moments with such specificity makes me feel like the extra effort so often invested went much farther than I could ever imagined. I am truly honored and glad to have been the teacher of many. Every little bit counts. Thank you so much for sharing.


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