I always get a little teary-eyed when I hear Miranda Lambert’s song “The House that Built Me,” but I’m not only thinking about my childhood home. I find my mind wondering back to the days of my old elementary school. A place I spent eight hours of the day, built relationships that lasted a lifetime, and made some of my favorite memories.
22 years ago, I was sitting in Kindergarten class at Jacksboro Elementary School. I was a bright-eyed, curious, social butterfly. My teacher, Mrs. Bryant was one of the most patient people I have ever met. In fact, she turned out to be a lifelong dear friend. I remember calling her when I was in college and telling her, “I want to teach. I love children and I want to change lives the same way you changed mine.” She didn’t tell me how hard the job was or how much money I’d be missing out on. She didn’t discourage me. She simply said, “Go for it, you’ll do great!”
That day, I changed my major from nursing to education and never looked back.
After I graduated in 2011, I taught in three different schools. Although I loved each school, each student, and each administrator, I could never seem to find the right fit. I didn’t ever quite feel like I was home. This summer, I took a position in the school that I grew up in. My school. The school that built me.
Each of my teachers changed my life; from Mrs. Bryant who taught Kindergarten, to Mrs. Pierce who taught third grade. My daughter just started preschool in the very same school, and I can only hope and pray that her teachers inspire her the way they inspired me.
Sometimes, as adults, we expect life to sweep us off our feet and carry us away to some unfamiliar territory.
In the years of searching for my “home” school, I have learned a hard lesson: be patient, be quiet, and be still in the anxious and uncertain moments, because sometimes life brings us full circle — right back where we all started.