Years ago Brylee and Branson were lucky enough to get the famous Mr. Eyre for 2nd grade. I'll never forget another Mom saying to me "enjoy the magic" when I told her that the twins were going to have Mr. Eyre. I thought, "seriously, its 2nd grade, how magical can it be?"
Turns out, when your teacher is Mr. Eyre, second grade can be all sorts of magical.
Branson was a strong willed, hard to parent kid in those days, I struggled to figure out the right ways to Mother him and I often felt discouraged and worried that I wasn't getting it right. But more than once I remember crying happy tears as I read emails from Mr. Eyre. Here is just one example of those emails from August of 2010:
Branson and Brylee are some of the most amazing kids I have ever known. You can tell a lot about a kids parents when you teach them and you guys are doing a fantastic job. Brylee and Branson are both true leaders and will be for the rest of their lives. They are so eager to learn. They're such a great example to their classmates, not only academically but also in how they conduct themselves, I am honored to be their teacher.
That same school year Mr. Eyre decided to move up to third grade and take his 2nd grade class again. We were thrilled and felt so blessed that the twins would get another year in Mr. Eyre's class. They had so many amazing experiences and by the time those two years were up their self confidence was soaring. What I have noticed as one of the main ingredients to Mr. Eyre's ability to build up a child's self image is that he shows them by his actions and words that he as their teacher he LOVES being there, he LOVES to teach them, he LOVES to learn with them, He LOVES to be around them. Common phrases from him are things like:
Monday is my favorite day becasue I get to start a new week with my class!
I have the best job in the whole world!
I cant wait for Spring Break to be over so I get to come see you all again!
I am so sad that its May, I just don't want this school year to end.
This is the best class ever but every class is the best class ever because every year just keeps getting better and better.
Its amazing what it does to a child's heart to KNOW and FEEL that their teacher (or parent or any adult) WANTS to be with them.
Brylee often wrote notes like this on her papers:
This last school year it was finally Ella's turn to be in Mr. Eyre's class. She had been waiting and waiting and was so excited. Because of some academic struggles that Ella has Mr. Eyre came over during the summer and set her up on our computer with some learning programs. School hadn't even started yet and Mr. Eyre was already sending the message that Ella mattered and he wanted to help her.
The year was filled with so many fun and unique activities and most of all confidence building for Ella and tons of extra help before and after school. Nothing is sweeter as a parent than seeing your child feel good about themselves. And there is a special kind of love and appreciation that swells in your heart for other people who love your children.
Over the years Mr. Eyre has become a dear friend, Scott was able to help him with his Real Estate needs and he has always made an effort to come to our baptisms and concerts and other events the kids have. This year Mr. Eyre was awarded "Teacher of the Year" and we were not a bit surprised. Teacher of the century more like it.
Excerpts from an end of the year email:
Seriously Julianne and Scott, I can't even put into words how much I have loved being Ella's teacher this year and how proud I am of her. One of my very favorite things this year was after-school tutoring on Thursdays with Ella. It's really one of my highlights of my whole teaching career. The reason I became a teacher was to have experiences like that...when a student is so willing to learn, so eager to learn, and has an attitude that they can learn and understand anything. It was amazing seeing her make those connections in her mind and see so many light bulbs turn on. And to see her be so proud of herself when she grasped the concepts. It happened a lot in class, too, but particularly during those Thursday tutoring sessions I just had some of the greatest feelings I think a teacher can have when a student really grasps a concept and finally "gets it."
She has such an amazing mind and is such a wise soul. There is no praise too high for what she accomplished this year. The crowning moment was when she got 100% on that last math test (probably the hardest test of the year) and we entered it into Infinite Campus together to see what it did to her grade. It boosted her overall math grade to an A- and the look of joy and pride on her face was just priceless. That qualified her for the Principal's list and it was such an honor to give her that award.
To say that Scott and I are grateful for the blessing Mr. Eyre has been to our kids would be an understatement. I'm so glad that this year Ella got to "enjoy the magic".