To my Children from Decades Past:  It is comforting to believe some of you remember me.  Teachers have egos too.  As I said in Part 1, I remember also.  I wish it were not so but I admit to remembering the “Attention Getters” more than I remember the students who obediently went about their lessons – the kind that often get ignored. Sorry about that.  However, many of you were rewarded for your efforts by getting good grades.  I loved you; I was deeply appreciative of you; you learned from me, and I learned from you!  A few years ago, I had a dream in which I went to Heaven and there you were in your classrooms down the hall.  Well, I’m not in Heaven yet, and you are too young to  be there yet.  But it was a nice dream.

I promised to tell you some of my memories, so here goes:

  1. Oh, El, how much I needed your gift to me! It was first year of integration in our city.  A trying year.  A learning year.  A challenging year.  I was new in teaching; I wanted so badly to please.  El, one morning I went to the classroom and there on my desk was a note you had left for me.  It said, “We know you love us.”  I wish you could know today that I am crying over the memory.  Thank you, Precious.  I hope your life has been touched the way you touched mine.

  1. Howard, one day I was getting sort of irritated by my inability to make you understand some math concept. I hope it wasn’t coming through my voice but it might have been, or was very near to it.  I remember seeing your little hand at the edge of my desk.  The sight of that hand grabbed my heart—I thought, “Why he’s just a baby.”  That gave me a dose of patience that I badly needed.

  1. Eugene, you had a reputation that everyone would cherish. One day the tattle tails were clambering.  I couldn’t get the story straight.  Someone said, “Teacher, just ask Eugene.  He always tells the truth.”  What a wonderful thing to have said about you!

  1. And my dear Betsy: I wanted you for my own. I would have taken you if it had been possible.    What made you so dear to me was the fact that you were so pretty, so sweet, so smart in spite of having been to fourteen different schools in three years before you came to me.  What could you have been had you had any stability in your life!   I’m not intending to criticize your parents, however; they must have been special to have such a special child.

  1. And little Jackie. Your first grade teacher sent you to me so I could give you a reading test.  You tested above the scale which reached year 14.  You were so cute on the word “psuedonym.”  You looked up at me and said, “That “p” is silent, isn’t it, teacher.”  Then you pronounced the word perfectly.

  2. Joe, you had the patience of Job. You were a big quiet boy and Pest was  little and noisy.  He seemed determined to annoy you.  You peacefully remained true to yourself and your standards.  I was proud of you.  Sorry I did not do more to free you from the pest.

Well, Dear Readers, I have promised myself to keep my posts short, so I must stop, but I find so many memories in my “Past Student” file.  It is a fun place to browse.



About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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7 Responses to HEART STRINGS – Part 2

  1. Debbie L says:

    Wow, such a beautiful and precious post! I wonder if I ever blessed any of my teachers???? My grandson really struggled with his first week in Kindergarten. What a blessing to have the teacher send my daughter an email on day 4 – to say she wants to continue to work with him. They thought he was on the verge of being kicked out of school. No one things of it from the teachers view – I love this and pray my grandsons will be like Eugene, or El or a Joe! I wonder where they are today?

    • oneta hayes says:

      Last year I pursued finding some of my former students. I wasn’t very successful. I found way too many who had trouble with the law, because that was easy to find and document. Sadly “El” was among them. I found one who is a pastor here in OKC, so I have FB contact with him. (He was one of the quiet ones.) I saw Eugene’s sister who was working in a telephone answering service. I’m sure I must have asked about Eugene. I don’t remember, but I would remember if it had not been to the good. I once went into a convenience store where a clerk recognized me. I went to the jail to see one; it was terribly sad. He was there because of killing a man in a drug issue. He remembered me. He was one who had no chance. I don’t remember whether I have written about him. A lot of sad tales. There was one of our students who graduated Naval Academy. His dad contacted a teacher friend of mine to share that good news. I thought it was note worthy that dad was still there to share the good news. That wasn’t true with most. I had a class of 22 kids one time with I think only two sets of blood parents raising them; all the others were grandparents, aunts, or single. This was forty years or so ago. My what it must be like now!

      • Debbie L says:

        It is so sad! I worked closely with the school system from 2007- 2012. It was so sad to learn about many of the home situations. Very tragic. We need to keep all students in our prayers! During those years I was also part of an intercessory prayer group of representatives from 17 churches! We prayed not only for the children, their families, teachers, administrators, the business community and all the government agencies in the community. We saw God at work in mighty ways!

        • oneta hayes says:

          WOW. That is wonderful to have a group like that. I think I heard of a group around here but after my involvement with the students. I don’t remember what I was doing at that time. Prayer makes a difference.

  2. Wow Oneta…as a former teacher…this really touched my heart.
    I taught because of a teacher, well really because of several teachers. and I hope I did
    what they did—and that is to have given my knowledge but most importantly my heart to their well being and progression in life…
    thank you for touching my heart…

  3. Wally Fry says:

    I have enjoyed this trip very much, Oneta. It’s very sweet.

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