The Butterfly

The+Butterfly.jpg

Beth is one of my graduate students. Although she has been sitting across from me for a semester, I was missing an important piece of her history until today. I have collected hundreds of teacher stories, but Beth’s story about Mrs. Rivers is one of the most beautiful.

I was in first grade when my older brother was killed in an accident. I was devastated and felt sure I could never be happy again. I had been out of school for a week when Mrs. Rivers knocked on our door. She came in quietly, sat down in the living room next to me, and placed a plastic milk jug on the table. I peeked inside at a stick with one green leaf, and I noticed a gray-green chrysalis hanging from the stick. Mrs. Rivers leaned in close to me and said, “This butterfly is not in a good place right now. It is going to struggle for a while. But then, it will be stronger and more beautiful than ever. You will, too.”

I kept the jug close and watched for two weeks. Finally, the chrysalis began to shake, and a butterfly emerged. It flapped it’s wet wings and climbed on the stick. Later that day, I took it outside to let it fly free. Mrs. Rivers was right, I started to feel better. Things would never be the same, but I would learn to cope. I have carried that lesson through every struggle since.

Beth’s story reminds me of how difficult and how important it is to sit with a student in pain. Students need to know they are not alone- especially when they are hurting. Was there a teacher who helped you through a difficult struggle?

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.   

Want to increase your impact?  Download the free resource on the RESOURCES tab.

Tap into your Unmapped Potential- Now available on Amazon.

Share on Social