Sometimes, the most priceless lessons are taught in elementary school.
One of lesson was taught was in 3rd grade from the most unlikely person. Mrs. Starr was an older lady, with bright red flaming hair. Her nose was a bit crooked, and she had huge square frames. Short and stocky, she was known to be “feared” amongst the students because she had a reputation for being one of the most strict teachers in the elementary school.
However, once in the class- I understood why she was so strict. Mrs. Starr wanted to truly teach us and have us LEARN. She gave clear guidelines. If you broke a rule, Mrs. Starr would follow up and give your consequence- no matter what. She gave us a system of earning stamps if we did well daily, and rewarded our accumulation with parties in the end. She disciplined, motivated, and caused us to believe in ourselves. Mrs. Starr shared her passion of art with her students, and you can just SEE how it lifted her. At one point, one of the students asked her this question:
“If you could have any job, what would you do?”
Mrs. Starr replied that she would still teach students- that she wouldn’t trade being a teacher for anything in the world. I was shocked and amazed. What was this? She could have ANY JOB and yet, she still wanted to teach us?!? I could see that she was satisfied and content.
I think that stuck with me throughout the years because I wanted to know what she had. Also, even though by “society’s standards”, she didn’t look the part of being “successful”, “sexy” or “beautiful”… But Mrs. Starr had a voice, reason and purpose. I still want what she has. I’ve tried to go the business-route the past few years, and am now just understanding that this business thing isn’t for me. I don’t want to live in a “shark-eat-shark” or a “let me one-up you” culture- I’m simply not made for the part.
There’s something about having a voice, reason and purpose that resonates so deeply. Something about doing good for the sake of doing good- not for fame, wealth, status- but just for the pure love of it. It’s something that I’m still seeking and wish for.
That was a time that was special to me, amongst many others.