Dear Ms. Hartwig,
Remember when I was in third grade and I had a favorite teacher whose name was Ms. Reed? Remember? She was soooooo cool!! She had the "IT" factor without even knowing she had it...She made learning fun and she wore such cool clothes. She was so chill. On casual Fridays, she'd wear overalls. And on one of those Fridays, there was in grasshopper in the room and she didn't freak out about it. She didn't kill it either. Instead, she caught it with her BARE hands and then released it to the outdoors where it belonged. I thought - WOW, I really want to be like her!!
And then...well, I'm not sure what the circumstances were (except that you were new to town from Iowa), but you took over. And you were completely different from her. You wore skirt suits. You wore hose. You always wore heels! And...You never DARED to wear a pair of overalls. I hated that! I thought you were too uptight and I thought you wore too much make-up! And I made fun of your hair that didn't seem too move...
Yeah...that was my perspective as a third grader. But now that I'm in your shoes, I just want to say I'm so sorry for giving you hell. I remember the torture I caused you! I remember you asking me to go back to my seat so nicely and my stubborn self decided: I think I'll just stay here...on the floor and I will not move! Remember? I do! You literally had to drag me by the arm to my seat. And I remember the entire class gave you such a difficult time that you had us eat a silent lunch in the classroom with the Assistant Principal standing beside you! There was no escaping! I don't remember when I started to take you seriously, but I do remember I did end up liking you.
I've been thinking a lot about you! I've been wondering if we wore you out so bad that you took naps as soon as you got home? Did you wonder if you were going to make it? Did you talk so horribly about me to your whoever your go-to person was? Did you see any progress in our (okay...MY) behavior? Did your third grade team give you suggestions on how to handle us? I hope I didn't lead you to cynicism.
Thanks for being a brave soul to take a class mid-year. Thanks for having the patience (even if it was just surface level) for me. And thanks for putting me in my place. I really appreciate it...now more than ever.
Your fellow colleague,
P.S. YES...I still wonder about your hair, but I'll cut you some slack because it was the EIGHTIES!