Suitcase of Memories

My students are writing a reflective letter to themselves right now, capturing the memorable moments of the year and challenging themselves for the future. I thought I’d join in and do the same.


You’ve been called Miss K. for almost seven years now. “Teacher” has been much of your identity, but this is all going to change soon enough. As you pack your suitcase of memories, be sure to include these for the road.

  • The day Seth fell asleep in class, so you packed up the rest of the class and took them around the corner so he’d wake up to an empty room.
  • The time Peanut hid in front of your desk, then jumped out and scared you breathless when you walked back over.
  • The day Peanut died. The day you felt more than ever how important it was to be the best teacher and Christ-follower possible because the days are few.
  • The day T recited his poem about food for the class and forgot his line, so it sounded like this: “I love food. It makes me…crap.”
  • The day Donnesha came and asked how to own a book, and you happened to have a good one to share with her.
  • The day you unplugged Clardy’s computer mouse and heard her ask her son where the mouse unlock key was on her keyboard.
  • The day K came to you out of the blue, sat down on a stool next to you, and spilled her life story over lunch.
  • The day you walked into your classroom after lunch and found your big desk moved to the center of the room.
  • The times when the lightbulb inside a kid’s head turned on, and he/she finally got the concept you’d been teaching for so long.
  • The times you accidentally used the wrong sign with a Deaf student. And not just the wrong sign, but a bad sign you didn’t even know.
  • The crazy, hilarious days with Corey and Ciris in the same class. My, how everyone laughed!
  • The time you paid Jordan a dollar to lick something gross off the wall…and he did it!
  • Eating French food the kids had made as part of Cyrano de Bergerac.
  • The kid who found his calling in video productions because he made his first video in your class.
  • The times you had to apologize to the kids for losing it…and they said they weren’t used to teachers apologizing before.
  • Giving kids nicknames in class that stuck with them even after the class had ended.
  • Recommending a kid for drum major before you left that school…and coming back to a football game a year later to see him rock the house.
  • The many, many times you’ve wondered if you were making a dent…and the times when God would send someone at just the right time to remind you that you are His, and everything counts.

Don’t forget the kids. Don’t forget what they taught you – what He taught you. It all counts. Every last bit – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. This is not the end.

It’s only the beginning.


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