Six years ago, my three year old daughter, Caroline, was killed in a school bus accident. It completely shattered my world. I finished the school year, and resigned my teaching position. I couldn’t fathom returning to the classroom. Yet this fall, I did, and I accepted a position at a local Career and Technical school working with high schoolers.
This week, one of my students, *Joe, was injured. He sprained his ankle coming down a ladder right outside my office. Immediately, I went to check on him, and administer first aid.
A pair of girls was coming down the hallway and one of them questioned what I was doing. Joe said, “She’s my school mom. She has four kids and takes care of me just like my mom would if I were at home.”
Later that afternoon another student, “Sam” said to me, “You know Mrs. Tuttle, you’re like everyone’s mom here. You check on us, ask us how our day is going, and offer advice if we need it; you genuinely care about us and take care of us... thank you.”
While I can’t mother one of my four, I have over 300 students that I am able to love and care about. They don’t fill the void but they make it tolerable. Somedays, they make me crazy, but they challenge me in ways they will never know. I get to share with them the mother I know I would have been to Caroline, and that makes eases my grief and makes what I’m doing even more fulfilling.