In my mind today I’m thinking about human touch. Minds out of the gutters back row! I’ve always been a person who craves big hugs, a pat on the back, and warmness of hand holding. As a teacher, you are warned about being too touchy-feely with your students. Some students cringe if you touch them. Some want daily morning hugs. You have to know your students preferences to recognition and rewards. And I did. I didn’t run around grabbing students, but there were moments when touch was appropriate and desperately needed. Discernment is needed.
At church this past Sunday during communion, I was first to receive because I’m on the front pew in a little wheelchair niche. Many times my fellow parishioners will touch my shoulder, hair, arm, or head as they pass by. Remember, I love touch and I’m grateful for those love pats. This Sunday, someone grabbed my arm and lingered. I looked up and it was a former student. This student was one of those that I taught in 5th grade and also 8th grade. As our eyes met and he smiled, I was catapulted back to my physically strong days. I remembered his hunger for more in math and how I gave him harder objectives than the others. I thought of how I had literally watched him blossom before my eyes. Yes back row, I began to cry as the memories flooded my mind. Not tears of bitterness or regret but tears of joy. God had given me this beautiful mission. Even though my student is an adult and now a doctor, his touch and eyes gave me that touch I desperately needed to say, “Thank you Ms. Alley. Love and peace be with you. I remember.” His visits home are sporadic now. He’s busy being an adult. Moments such as this are affirmations to living my purpose. Today, hug a teacher or tell them thank you. I mean it back row!
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quote of the Day:
“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”