Today is International Women’s Day. I planned to write this slice yesterday but thought it would be more appropriate today. Today’s slice is about the women in my life who inspire me and have taught me a few things. Some are fellow educators while others are family members.
It’s because of this woman that I’m an educator. I mentioned her in my very first slice. When I was in school she was a Kindergarten teacher and although I didn’t have her for my teacher she still taught me a few things. She’s my definition of an elementary teacher. She always took the time to get to know her students and if you were crying she’d let you cry it out or let you talk it out to her. Her students were her kids and their problems were her problems. Their successes were recognized and she took the time to praise even the smallest victory because to a Kindergartener those are very big deal. When I became an educator she was one of the teachers I chose to model myself after. When I see her in the store she always asks about my class. If she sees my mom she’ll ask, “How’s our girl doing?” I don’t think she’s understood the complete impact she’s had on my life.
She started out as my mentor teacher. I was nervous and I remember hoping that whoever this Mrs. L was she & I would get along. As soon as I reach the room she’s standing in the door eagerly waiting to meet her new student teacher. My first thought when I saw her was, ‘Wow, she’s tall.’ Over the course of the eight weeks I was in her classroom I learned how to efficiently set up centers, work with small groups, differentiate instruction, and how to make lessons fun. I hated to see those eight weeks end. Our personalities meshed so well. She’s another educator I’ve modeled myself after. She strives to be the best teacher for her students and she makes the teaching fun for even the most dull of topics. I feel lucky for being placed with her for my first half of student teaching.
I’ve known her for ten years now but we didn’t become close friends until 2009. Since then we’ve had countless adventures. Her wedding, a Maroon 5 Concert, road trips for WLU football games, and numerous sleepovers while her husband was away due to football. She’s the most caring person you’ll ever meet. She’s the Meredith Grey to my Christina Yang. In a little over six weeks she will begin a new adventure: becoming a mom to a beautiful baby boy. She inspires me in the way that she loves. She will always have your back and loves with all her heart.
Sarah continues to inspire me to stay in shape. Her fitness ethic is one to admire and she’s the reason why my workout posts seem so intense. She always encourages us during the workouts and trust me when I say you will see results. But she’s more than a trainer. She’s driven, sarcastic, funny, and down to earth. She works so hard at the gym between teaching classes, small group, and other classes outside of the gym. She’s pushed me to get over the limitations in my head that would tell me I couldn’t do one-legged burpees, box jumps, or complete a half marathon. She’s helped make me healthier and happier. She’s so appreciated and loved within our community.
I wish I had a more recent picture of us, but I don’t. She is the reason why I love to read. Over the course of several years she bought me several books. It started with the Little Golden Books then Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys. She taught me that a bold lipstick color is always the key to pulling an outfit together. I’d spend hours sitting next to her talking about various topics. She always wanted to know what I was learning in school or what new book I was reading. She’s also the reason why I love country music. It would always be playing during our visits. Whether it was on TNN or a tape there was always country music being played in the house. She passed away, suddenly, in 2013. I miss her everyday & I can only hope that she’s proud of the young woman I’ve turned out to be.
This is the woman who is responsible for my strong faith and love of flowers. She’s also the woman who sewed so many of my dresses when I was little. I wish I had that talent but it skipped over me. We both still have that strong faith & the last few years we’ve leaned heavily on that. Between Pap G passing away in 2012, which hit both of us hard, to Mam and Pap B passing away in 2013 and 2016. Every Sunday afternoon when I visit her we sit and talk about the gardens they used to have, the dresses she used to make, and how my week has gone. Lately I’ve been visiting her more. Her health is good, and for that I’m thankful, but like the lyric in Tim McGraw’s song says:
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be a waste of time
Just change it to say grandma and it’s a true statement.
These five women I admire and they have taught me so much. For that I thank them.