I would like to honor my fifth grade teacher for making so many positive influences in my life. What could have been a terrible for a rather lonely only child was made into one of my best years by this lady. She got a students mom, who was an art teacher, to come in and give us lessons. She taught us to love and memorize poetry, she spent extra time on music, singing and it’s beauty.
She taught us of our nations history and how fortunate we were to be in the United States and in one of the most beautiful, tranquil places to be found there. (Western North Carolina) I have always love her. My father almost died that year, I had surgery on my foot and was on crutches for two months, yet somehow, that year was one of my best!
She died when my 2nd child was a baby, and to my dismay, the article about her death said simply, “There are no immediate survivors”. I was crushed. All those years, I had lived within few miles of this lady and never told her how much she meant to me. Now, I would never get that chance. Sh died alone (or at least without family) and I could hav possibly made a difference to her, like she did to me.
I would like to pass this lesson on to my readers, Don’t wait to say, “Thank you!” or “I love you.”. Don’t neglect to tell someone when they do something that has influenced you in a positive way. Ms. Blackstock, I hope somewhere in Heaven that you know what a difference you made in my life. You made me feel like the most special person in the world and I am sure that everyone of your students felt the exact same way.
To you, I dedicate a few poems and stories:
A road like brown ribbon, A sky that is blue.
A forest of green with that sky peeping through.
Asters, deep purple, a grasshoppers all.
Today it is summer – tomorrow it’s fall!
The moon is round as a jack-o-lantern.
The trees are black and bare.
As we go walking with spooky giggles,
Through the chilled, ghostly air.
Who’s shadow is that on the haunted ground?
Who’s hiding behind that tree?
Oh, down the tree comes my bad, black kitten,
And the shadow is only me!
There were holiday poems and songs, songs and stories from all seasons, art lessons centered around the seasons and holidays, She made sure to include different religions and ethnicities in her holiday” poems, never making one more important than the others. Remember, this was in the 1960’s- it was not exactly a time known for teaching equality in such areas.
I believe that I still have my booklet from 5th grade tucked away somewhere. I remember singing the songs in school programs, learning to write stories and poetry myself and dreaming about being a teacher when I grew up. I will copy one song she taught us that we sang ina school program. I speaks clearly of what her goal was in being our teacher.
Let There be Peace on Earth,
Let there be peace on earth,
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
let me walk with my brothers, in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment,
and live each moment,
with pace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
(A child would then step forward sing the song as a solo-it was very moving.
I believe that the most important lesson that I learned from Ms. Blackstock is that we never know how we may influence people or who we may have a profound effect upon. We should always try to make an influence that we have on a child (or adult) be a positive one. Let it be a building block towards what that person may become and, especially, to always let them smile when they remember us, even if they can’t remember our name.