A Bright Spot


I have been married to Brian for almost thirty years, but I only recently heard this story. I love that story collecting allows me to catch a glimpse of the child who still lives inside each of us, even the people I see every day. Brian’s story about Mrs. Robinson captured my imagination and gave me hope, just as she did for a nervous, seventh grade boy from New Jersey.

My mom and I moved from a small, rural town in south Jersey to the Miami area two weeks before I started seventh grade. It was a culture shock. I entered school on that first day knowing just one other kid. I felt awkward and alone, like a complete outsider. I felt vulnerable trying to navigate new social norms.

My day improved the minute I entered Mrs. Robinson’s English class. She wore a bright, floral patterned dress. The only thing brighter than her dress was her smile. She immediately made me feel safe and happy.

Every day, as I experienced the highs and lows of my new middle school, I looked forward to being in Mrs. Robinson’s class. When I felt like a nobody, she made me feel like a somebody. She called me her “Right Hand Man.” When I turned in papers, she wrote positive comments in brightly colored felt tip pens. She boosted my confidence and gave me a sense of belonging.

I can’t explain exactly why I remember her so well. There are no big moments that stand out in my mind, just a consistent energy. As students, we knew she was happy to be teaching us. Mrs. Robinson was literally and figuratively a bright spot in my day during a challenging time.

Brian’s story made me think about the importance of a teacher’s energy. When we walk into our classrooms, our energy permeates the space. Luckily, we get to decide what kind of energy we want to bring each and every day. Do you remember a teacher who was a bright spot in your day?

Wishing you an endless supply of chalk and chances-


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