Sunday, May 16, 2010

For eight months, I lived in a different state where I worked on a major project. My goal was to see if my networking skills could be transferred to a city where I knew only one person. The event was a success so the skills obviously worked. Now readjusting to life in my hometown.
A fascinating trend has been revealed. People who have interacted with me over the years greet me with huge smiles. The conversation than continues on to how they missed my positive attitude and ideas. Hmmmm…..
While watching Good Morning America the question was asked, “Who inspired you?” That was easy, my elementary school teacher of six years. Yes, I went to a one-room schoolhouse with 27 students, three of whom were in my class. By the way, it was located eleven miles outside the town of Tomah, Wisconsin.
Imagine teaching eight grades, 27 students on all subjects needed to make students proficient in high school. Needless to say, I was one fortunate student to have Mrs. Jensen for six years. Most of the time she smiled broadly and she always encouraged us to do more than necessary. She stretched me and often had me work with other classes to run through their exercises to reinforce her teachings in the classes.
Mrs. Jensen believed in me. She admired the fact that I wanted to read everything in our small library and my penmanship. (Of course, anyone who knows me now cannot image I actually got As in penmanship. I blame the bad handwriting now on medicine I use to take for migraine headaches that affected my right hand. Hey, it works for me)
Each day, I learned in an environment that looked at the good in things. When tragedy would strike one of the families of the students, Mrs. Jensen was there to help all of us work through the issues. She revealed how she thought we could help.
When a student excelled, she showed us how to celebrate! So now as my acquaintance comment on my positive attitude, I smile and say that I had a great upbringing. A teacher who believed me and parents that supported growth and learning.
PS  About three years ago, I visited Mrs. Jensen at the age of 90. When she greeted me at the door, she had the same big smile. How grateful I am that I took the time to seek her out and thank her for what she did for my positive attitude.
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