Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What goes around...


Matthew was only 10 years old when he began dropping by my classroom at the end of the day. He'd never been my student but we became acquainted when I coached a team he played on. I'd invite him into my room and put him to work hanging artwork or tidying up and while we worked he'd chat about himself. I could tell he was an unhappy little guy but he claimed that his Grade Five teacher was special and that he was helping Matthew turn his life around. In fact, Matthew was so impressed by this teacher that he vowed that he, too, would become a teacher so that he could make a difference in the lives of troubled kids.

Fast forward 15 years. I am no longer teaching school but am writing novels for children and teenagers. That same school I once taught at invited me back to do an author presentation for their students. I had a terrific morning with three classes of Grade 7 students. While I was working with them, I noticed a young teacher sitting at the back of the room, listening intently, but I focused on the students and didn't pay much attention to him.

At the end of the session the students and teachers filed out of the library and back to their classrooms. I began cleaning up my books and didn't at first notice that the young teacher had returned to the library and was waiting to speak with me.

"You don't recognize me, do you," he said when I finally noticed him. He was fidgeting, clearly uncomfortable.

I shook my head. "No. "

"I'm Matthew. I used to be a student at this school and I often came to visit you in your classroom."

I'm sure my mouth dropped open. Little Matthew had grown up and done exactly what he said he was going to do, and here he was teaching at the same school that he'd once attended. We chatted for a few minutes, and then he began to look uncomfortable again. "I often think of you," he said. "And I even thought of writing you a letter. I wanted to thank you for always listening to my problems." He shoved his hands into his pockets and looked away. "Now that I'm a teacher I find that I, too, have students who want to hang back at the end of the day and talk. When I grow impatient with them, I recall how you always had time to listen to me. Remembering that helps me find the patience for my own students. I'm glad you came here today so I could tell you that."

I thanked Matthew, and we both went on our way, but for me, my life was permanently altered. I am so grateful that Matthew came back into the library and told me his story. Knowing that I made a difference in someone's life, and that it is now being 'played forward' is a gift I will always treasure. How incredibly lucky I was to run into him.

As I drove home that day I began making a mental list of people from my own past who I wish I could thank. First on the list would be my own grade five teacher. She was one of the gifted ones and it was because of her that I chose to become a teacher myself....
What goes around comes around.
Shelley


13 comments:

Leslie said...

Oh, what a truly touching story. Thank you Shelley for sharing this with us. I am not the least bit surprised at your tale as this is the side of you that continues to draw me to you like a magnet... your compassion and empathy, your ability to quietly listen and your welcoming personality. The fact that you can also make a positive difference in the lives around you through your writing is simply a beautiful bonus for us all.

Shelley Hrdlitschka said...

Thanks for your kind words, Leslie. What I meant to add was that we have all made such a difference in people's lives, but I was one of the lucky ones to actually hear about it. Most of us never know.
Shelley

giggles said...

Oh Shelley I love this beautiful story of fruition! One never knows how a precious child may be affected by an adult’s special care! Without your love who knows what may have transpired! This is proof of what a loving soul you truly are! I often think with great fondness of those adults who made a difference in my life! Thanks for sharing this intimate story!

Love Sherrie

Anonymous said...

pc on point -
pc tv 4 me -
perfect optimizer -
phone number scan -
pick the gender of your bady -
power 4 home -
profit lance -
public records pro -
quantum mind power -
quit smoking today -
recipe secrets -
reg clean -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
revolutioniz -
richard markenzie direct -
sale hoo -
simple php -
smtp 2 go -
spyware nuker -
surveys 4 checks -
tax liens made easy -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the handcrafters companion -
the retired millionaire -
the super mind evolution system -
truth about abs -

Anonymous said...

truth about diets -
turbulence training -
ultimate content creator -
video piggy -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
viral tweets -
warp speed fat loss -
webstigate -
win clear -
win spy -
worlds best compost -
xp repair pro -
yeast infection no more -
your approved -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
amazing resume creator -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
av advance -
banish tonsil stones -
bookmarking demon -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
catch spouse cheating -
cb affiliate blueprints -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure angular cheilitis -
directory of ezines -

Anonymous said...

dirty talking guide -
dish tv for pc -
dog training online -
domain sales machine -
driver robot -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tech videos -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence smart -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
forex derivative -
gas 4 free -
get better grades -
golf swing guru -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hyper vre -

Anonymous said...

i software tv -
legit online jobs -
linden method -
london forex rush -
master word smith -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
max pro system -
meet your sweet -
membership gold rush -
minute sites -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
negative calorie diet -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
pc on point -
pc tv 4 me -
perfect optimizer -
php link cloaker -
pick the gender of your baby -
profit lance -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
recipe secrets -
reg clean -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket piano -

Anonymous said...

rocket spanish -
satellite tv to pc -
smtp 2 go -
spam bully -
spyware nuker -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the stop snoring exercise program -
the super mind evolution system -
trading stock indices -
truth about abs -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
twitter annihilation -
twitter rockstar -
twitter traffic machine -
ultimate content creator -
ultimate font download -
ultimate wow guide -
video piggy -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web investigator -
win clear -
win spy -
yeast infection no more -




3d covers -

Anonymous said...

500 scrapbooking sketches -
acid alkaline diet -
acne free in 3 days -
advanced pc tweaker -
apple patch diet -
art of approaching -
auction inspector -
av advance -
build a nice store -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
catch spouse cheating -
chikara reiki do -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure gout now -
dl guard -
dog training online -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence nuker -

Anonymous said...

ex girlfriend guru -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
forex grid bot -
get google ads free -
get paid to draw -
get this off my chest now -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
learn photoshop now -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
marketing on the fringe -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
my online income system -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -

Anonymous said...

one minute cure -
one week marketing -
online pickup secrets -
partenon -
pc on point -
perfect optimizer -
perfect uninstaller -
pick the gender of your baby -
power cash secret -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button marketer -
quit smoking today -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry fix -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket spanish -
rss power plus -
sem business blueprint -
silent sales machine -
spam bully -
sports betting champ -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
starting a day care center -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -

Anonymous said...

the diet solution program -
the super mind evolution system -
traffic travis -
truth about abs -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
twitter affiliate cash -
twitter decoded -
video piggy -
video web wizard -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
your bill killer -
you will get paid -
zygor guides -
20 day persuasion -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
apple patch diet -
article submitter -
art of approaching -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure for bruxism -

Anonymous said...

cure hemorrhoids -
cyber link pro -
dl guard -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy click mate -
easy photo biz -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
epinoisis -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
hippo jaw -