August 02, 2006

Ms. Vintilla

The glory days of summer are quickly coming to an end. In a week and a half the kids will already be at school reciting the Texas Pledge, USA Pledge, and I think even singing some sort of Texas song each morning. Along with a moment of silence, which I know for certain, many of those teachers are praying silently for the innocent eyes looking up at them.

I remember a special moment that happened to me when I was in the 3rd grade. I was a quiet little girl I was shy, had no self-esteem, and was easily embarrassed. When I was young I was sure I was the only child who had a daddy that struggled with alcoholism. When I went to school I was sure everyone there was better than me, and they all thought I was nothing to even consider. I do not know what anyone really thought about me, I just kept my head down and tried to walk through school invisible.
I had a special teacher her name was Ms. Vintilla. She saw the sadness in my heart, and went out of her way to make me feel special. She had visited with my mom I think and knew about our home life. One day she sent the rest of the class on to music, I can remember it like it was yesterday, and she asked me to stay behind. She showed me a long necklace she had made. The necklace part was made with that leathery, suede looking material, and the bottom had a beautiful oval shaped picture attached to it. Then she showed me a beautiful turquoise and silver beaded necklace. The turquoise beads were big and chunky and the silver beads were extra shiny. She told me I was allowed to pick my favorite and that it was a gift from her to me. She told me that I was a special young lady, she could see that, and that I had alot to offer the world. That was what I felt anyway when she was talking to me. I chose the turquoise necklace. I wore it everyday, I wore it out, until the necklace could take no more, and broke. I kept the pieces for a long time, but don't have them anymore.
That special teacher put a light in my heart that was never extinguished. I had seen myself through her eyes and I knew that I was special to someone.
To all the teachers who are just around the corner from having kids in their classrooms, you have the most important job in the world. You are educating the future, you are developing character, and sometimes giving hope outside of a hopeless home. You are up to the task and your heart has room for 22-30 kids this year, maybe even more. Be blessed and let the Lord shine His face upon your students through your eyes.
I will never forget Ms. Vintilla, in fact she reads this blog, and I remembered that about halfway through my story. To Ms. Vintilla - I give thanks to the Lord upon each remembrance of you. You put a flame of confidence in my heart, I will always be grateful for you. You shone the love of the Lord in my life.


Sarah said...

That makes me cry AND scares me to death. In my "former teacher life" I didn't consider what a HUGE impact I had on the bodies in my class. Now that I have children I realize the sun rises and sets on teacher's perception of you. Say a prayer for all the teachers!

Roxanne said...

Thank you for your birthday wishes. . .and your prayers and blessings on us teacher folk. We appreciate it more than you know.


shellie said...

Let's pray that all our children have teachers like Ms. Vintilla this school year. Thanks for sharing another powerful story with all of us Tammy!