I’m entering my third year as Preschool Assistant at Crossings. Prior to this, I taught at Crossings Mothers Day Out Program. My little friends there were freshly-turned two year olds when they came to me. This year, four of those children from my Mothers Day Out class are enrolled in our 4-5 year old preschool. One of those little ones will be in our class, which I’ve been looking forward to all summer.
The other day, I was standing near this little guy’s 3-4 year old preschool teachers from last year when he and his mom walked into the room. When we saw him, we all began jostling to give him a hug. My little friend pointed at me and said to his mom, “She loves me!”
I can’t stop thinking about this.
From the time I was in third grade, there were 4 things I knew I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a wife, a mom, a teacher, and a writer. I adored my third grade teacher. As I watched her, being a teacher seemed so glamorous, so important, so influential and memorable. Yes, I wanted to do something valuable and meaningful with my life; I also wanted to be adored, appreciated, and loved. As I grew, I decided I wanted to teach either third grade or High School English/Literature. It never occured to me to want to teach preschool. I wanted to be REMEMBERED. The fact is this: preschoolers are unlikely to remember their teacher years down the road. I don’t think my little friend from Mothers Day Out even remembers my name. None of my preschool students will ever thank me in their graduation speech or dedicate their first book to me.
It’s an ugly truth: I want people to praise my name at the gates. I want people to rise up and call me blessed. I want to do good, but I also want to be recognized for doing good. This is not exactly an admirable character trait of mine, but I’m just keeping it real. I want to do something BIG. I want to be REMEMBERED. It’s unlikely that my career choice will lend itself to these types of accolades.
But that’s okay. When it’s all said and done, is there anything more important than loving people? Is there anything that could possibly take precedence over making a preschooler feel loved and secure? At the end of my life, if the people around me all know that I loved them, that’s good enough for me.
“She loves me.” It doesn’t get better than that. Thank you for reminding me of what’s important, my little friend.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13