“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

Mahatma Gandhi

if we aspire to anything, as human beings,

perhaps it would be to make a difference,

to leave our mark, to be remembered;

Who, more than teachers, are in a position

to make a difference – not just in one child’s

life, but in the lives of many children.

All of us, I think, have fond memories of

a favorite teacher – and if you are extremely

blessed and fortunate, more than one favorite

teacher–teachers we loved and admired and

remember for the valuable lessons they taught

us, or for the acts of kindness they demonstrated

in their classrooms.

Such were my teachers, Sister Doris Marie, 5th

and 6th grades, and Sister Charlene, who was

my eighth grade teacher and also the principal

of St Leo’s when I was a student there.  Groups of

eighth grade girls would follow her around,

during recesses, wanting to talk to her,

to be near her.  Sister Doris Marie had that effect on boys

as well as girls–if you received notice

going into the 6th grade–that you would have

Sister Doris Marie again–we were all ecstatic..

I fell in love with school going into the 5th grade

and being in Sister Doris Marie’s classroom.

In high school, the most outstanding teachers

who made a difference in my life were Mrs. Staub,

who taught American History and Mrs. Cunningham

who was the cooking teacher–I adored Mrs. Cunningham

and I loved cooking class.

I wish I could go back in time to tell these two teachers

how much impact they made in my life–the seed (a love of

cooking)  had already been planted – I began cooking when I was

ten years old – but Mrs. Cunningham made that seed grow.

My high school, Mother of Mercy, was blessed with so many gifted,

caring teachers – and we had huge classes of students in the four

years I was enrolled there–I counted something like 250 teenage

girls in our senior group photograph.

To these teachers, to all teachers, I want to say “thank you” for making a difference.


Sandra Lee Smith

originally composed October 23, 2009, updated July 5, 2018

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