Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

May 15, 2014

Thankful for my third-grade teacher

— I was only eight years old and in the third grade at Furlow Grammar School. I had just moved from Delray Beach, Fla., to Americus. It was a drastic change in climate, scenery and schools. It was the dead of winter when we moved. I didn’t know what cold was like and had only heard about snow as if it was something from a fantasy world.

To an eight-year-old boy, all of these changes were drastic. The only comfort was my family. We were all together and that made me feel secure.

I shall never forget a gray day in January when something white and fluffy began to fall out of the sky. Our teacher didn’t attempt to restrain us as we pressed our faces against the window and, wonder of wonders, it was snowing in Americus. My excitement was unbridled. It was magic. Suddenly, the palm trees and Atlantic Ocean were far, far away in South Florida. I was fascinated by a new experience.

My teacher was Mrs. Langford. I have no idea how old she was, but I believe she was older than my mother. She had probably aged into her late thirties. She was really ancient to me. My, what a fine teacher she was. She loved us all as she taught us the multiplication tables and sent us to the cloak room when we misbehaved.

Next to my family, Mrs. Langford was the most important person in my life, and she has had a lasting effect on me. When I left the third grade to go to the fourth, she never forgot me. She continued to show an interest in my education and my life. I received letters from her on special occasions. I am convinced her special gift was inspiring students  to do their best.

Some day I hope to see Mrs. Langford in heaven and thank her for being a teacher who cared and helped an eight-year-old boy adjust to red clay hills and pecan trees instead of sand and coconut palms.


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