It’s the Simple Things

Last week was a hard week. On Monday, I went to school and by the first recess, I noticed that my voice was starting to go. This isn’t the first time that this happens, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but any teacher knows that loosing your voice makes for tough days at school. I kept teaching, and with every passing day, my students would say “Mme, you still have a frog in your throat?!” They were so patient with me and absolute angels knowing that they needed to be extra quiet to hear my weak voice throughout the week, but by the end of the school day on Wednesday, I knew this wasn’t going to get better without rest. Although I felt completely fine otherwise, my voice was definitely strained and I could feel it in my throat. I prepped for a sub and vouched that I wouldn’t speak at all, for a full day, hoping that this would be enough to get me back on track.

The next morning was interesting as I got my own boys ready for school. They thought it was quiet hilarious that my phone was speaking for me (seriously, I got a text to speech app so that I could “talk” to my boys and get them on the bus on time). You really don’t realize how much you talk until you’re forced to type everything out! Yikes! Off to school they went, and I came back home to drink tea with honey.

Mid-morning, my phone rang, and of course I couldn’t answer. I listened to the voicemail and found out that my glasses and contact order was in at my optometrist’s. As a side note, I’ve been having issues with my eyes since May, and my optometrist and her team have been incredible and patient with me as we tried to figured it all out. So, here I was sitting on my couch trying to figured out if I could pick up my order while still not saying a word. Would people think I was rude? What if I ran into someone I knew? I made a plan, phone in hand, and off I went.

First though, I had to stop at the coffee shop to pick up a special treat to leave at my optometrist’s office so that they knew how much I appreciate them going above and beyond for me. I couldn’t go through the drive thru — no voice — so I went into the shop and had my order typed in notes on my phone.

“Good morning! Sorry, I lost my voice. Could I please have a Take 12 and a medium French Vanilla? Thank you!”

The sweet lady punched in my order, I paid, and waited off to the side while they got everything ready.

What happened next reminded me that even the smallest actions can make the world of a difference, even if you never realize it.

As the woman brought over my order, I mouthed the words thank you to her, and she not only did the same back to me, but also signed thank you.

As I sit here and type this out, I wonder if people will wonder why on earth I chose to write a whole blog post about such a simple gesture. Well, it’s because it really touched my heart.

And it made me think of all of the simple ways we just might touch our students’ hearts every single day. That warm smile in the morning. The high fives in the halls. The hugs and short conversations about things going on in their lives. The jokes and banter back and forth. Really listening. Playing with them during unstructured times. And so much more… because guess what? We probably don’t even realize that we are doing it half of the time. But it matters. It really matters.

how you feel Maya Angelou

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