Cold Hands, Warm Heart

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Alex pushed his bike up to the interview table and pulled off his headphones. He asked a few questions and seemed genuinely interested in my research project. He was friendly and laughed easily. Alex was eager to tell me about the kindness shown to him by his fourth-grade teacher, Miss Davis.

I was nine when my mom went back to work. It was a big change for me because I was used to having her around to fix me breakfast, take me to school, and drop things off that I forgot. When she started working, she left the house before I did; so I had to ride my bike to school. I tried to be tough and pretend I was fine, but the truth is, I felt anxious and alone. Miss Davis seemed to understand that I was having a hard time, and she greeted me at the classroom door every morning when I arrived.

One January morning, I started my bike ride and realized halfway to school that I had forgotten my gloves. It is important to note that I lived in Florida and my school was only a few blocks away, but in my mind, it was well below zero and miles away. Somewhere along the journey, I started to cry. I finally made it to my classroom, shivering with tears running down my cheeks. Miss Davis bent down, and without saying a word, she held my hands in hers and rubbed them until they were warm.

Miss Davis was always doing things like that. She would notice when something was wrong and try to make it better. She did these small things with a big, open heart. For some reason, that January morning sticks in my memory. It compels me to notice when others are hurting and respond with kindness.

Alex's story is proof that small acts of kindness can be just as influential as grand gestures. Miss Davis didn't just make him feel better in the moment; she made him better for the moments when he would encounter others who need compassion. Teachers like Miss Davis give kids like Alex the chance to understand that love is an action verb. What small acts of kindness left a lasting impact on you? Share in the comments below.

Wishing you an endless supply of chalk and chances-
Julie

Where did the stories in the Chalk and Chances project come from? Find out here.  

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