Last week, I was sick.
I was so sick I stayed home for two days.
This is unusual.
I don't get sick that often.
When I do, I usually don't stay home.
As I get older, I am learning to take better care of myself.
So, I stayed home.
On Friday, I returned.
With some trepidation, I might add.
Returning from an absence is always scary.
You never know what you will find.
Years ago, I had such a disastrous experience, it scarred me for life.
I'll spare you all the gory details, but:
1. My room was trashed as apparently students attempted to set my books on fire.
2. Porn had been viewed on my teacher computer.
3. The guest teacher refused to give me names because, and I quote, "the kids might be mad at me."
You can understand why absences make me nervous.
Especially if I don't know who will be assigned to my classes.
It has been years since I had a really bad experience.
Still the fear lingers.
When I arrived on Friday morning, I went to check my mail.
In my mail box was a small paper plate.
It was covered with plastic wrap and contained a huge chunk of deep dish chocolate chip cookie and four Rice Krispie treats.
Um, yes please!
There were also two typed letters from students.
One was from a student I have a strong relationship with.
He is a Junior now, but I still check up on him regularly.
His letter was darling. Sweet, charming, and badly written.
English was never his strength, though I can see improvement.
My favorite line: "When I had you for a teacher you changed the way I thought about school."
It wasn't an unexpected sentiment, but it was still super nice to hear.
The other letter was from a young lady.
She is a sophomore now.
Last year, she was in my second hour.
I know she enjoyed my class, but I wouldn't have said I was anything special to her.
Her letter was also darling. Sweet, kind, and badly written.
She has a written expression diagnosis in keeping with the letter she wrote.
She told me I was her favorite teacher, that I changed her view of what she can accomplish.
My favorite line: "you are the most kind smartest teacher i ever know."
This was a completely unexpected sentiment.
What an amazing way to start my day and terrific welcome back.
The best part, and trust me, that was phenomenal, was when I got to my classroom.
My classroom was spotless, pristine.
On my desk were two sets of sub notes, one from each day.
They were the kind of detailed, specific notes teachers request and almost never get.
And they were completely positive.
Glowing reviews from every single class both days.
This NEVER happens.
I mean, just, never.
I still didn't feel great, colds are like that.
But I had the best start to a day I could imagine.
Good things in spades.