The one thing I prayed for the most this new school year was that my daughter would make and keep good friends; friends that would love and support her no matter what her hair looked like.
I never imagined my prayers to be answered not only by her peers, but by a very unexpected ally and blessing - my daughter's language arts teacher, Mrs. Winfrey.
Mrs. Winfrey has very intentionally reached out to my girl, accepting her for who she is - a creative, quirky, color-outside-the-lines kind of kid - and is helping her flourish.
This lovely teacher and ally had a previous student with trich. She reached out to my girl from the beginning of the school year and offered to be someone she could turn to for help, for encouragement and for guidance.
For a variety of reasons, the trich being one of them, my girl has issues with handling stress. Let me tell you the story of today's events, and explain how I know Mrs. Winfrey is answered prayer...
Today was the first day of FACS club (Family and Consumer Sciences). We called it Home Economics "back in the day."
The permission slip needed to be turned in no later yesterday, and we forgot to have my girl take it with her in the morning. So, around lunchtime, I drove to the school and dropped it off.
When my oldest got to the FACS club meeting today, the teacher told her she couldn't be in the club, because she didn't turn in her permission slip on time.
My girl went to the office and called home, leaving me a tearful and stressed message saying she'd not been allowed into the club and she had missed the bus. Would I please come pick her up.
That was at 3:05pm. I didn't get that message until 3:23pm. Oh my! She'd been waiting at the school, upset, stressed and hurt, and I didn't know it!
I rushed back out the door, arrived at the school to find that she wasn't waiting outside, and she wasn't waiting in the office. The office staff paged my girl, but she didn't appear, so I went looking for her.
I found the FACS teacher, and she explained that she never got the permission slip from the office (where I had dropped it off the day before). She filled 3 groups with 30-32 kids each and still had to turn kids away. I couldn't blame her for telling my oldest "no."
While we discussed my girl's options, in the distance, down the hall, I saw my girl with another teacher waving me over.
We met in the middle, and this teacher introduced herself as Mrs. Winfrey.
Mrs. Winfrey and I have had numerous email conversations and a phone conversation or two regarding my girl, but had never met in person.
Mrs. Winfrey saw my girl after school and realized something was really wrong. My girl was so upset and so hurt, and Mrs. Winfrey spotted it right away.
She pulled my girl aside, helped her calm down and focus, and had a chat with her about what happened.
Mrs. Winfrey then invited my girl to be part of the Cultural Club - the club she sponsors - that meets once a week after school.
The cultural club is a place where students and mentors get together to figure out ways to improve understanding of different cultures and people to create a greater sense of community within the school.
My girl seemed interested, but still upset about the FACS club. After speaking to both teachers, it turns out that FACS club will only meet once a month, while the other club is on the same day and meets every week.
So now, she gets to be in two clubs - FACS and the Cultural Club - and it's all because Mrs. Winfrey took the time to care about my girl and not let her go home stressed and upset.
I cannot imagine a bigger ally or a greater blessing in my girl's life than her language arts teacher, and I could not have asked for a better answer to my prayers.
Mrs. Winfrey, thank you for being a loving, caring and kind-hearted teacher who just happens to have a soft spot for my girl.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Did you ever have a teacher that helped you through difficult times?
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