Romana was from Romania. She was the kindest little girl. She spoke very little English, yet she clearly enjoyed school. She is the child on the far right with the biggest smile.
I remember the day I took this photo. We were playing a game of Musical Chairs. In my version, every time the music stops I take away a chair. Children have to find a lap of another child to sit on. When we get down to two or three chairs, it is a scramble. The squeals and laughing say it all.
Romana loved this game. She also loved art. As a three-year-old she helped illustrate our classroom God Bless America book.
Romana was a born giver. She noticed everything. She loved Milly the Quilter.
The following year her younger sister, Stefana, was in my class. She was a delight. Then their little brother, Vlad, joined school. I loved these children.
I learned much about family traditions and culture in Romania. When Romana was five or six, she went to Romania – alone – to spend much of the summer with her grandparents. They only spoke Romanian.
And then the unthinkable happened. Their father became sick with cancer and died in a relatively short period of time. His mother came to America from Romania to see her son before he died. I went to their house to take care of the children so the adults could have some time together. That was so sad!
I will never forget the funeral. I’d never been to a Greek Orthodox funeral. It was formal, with an open casket. Children were in a playroom downstairs, yet Romana came into the sanctuary, saw me, and climbed up onto my lap for much of the funeral. She was fine. I held it together.
Over the next few years I visited, always bringing my autoharp and a stack of books. We played, sang, danced, and read stories. It was delightful.
Time moves on and so do children and their families. Last week the family stopped by school to say hello and goodbye, as they are moving out of town. I wasn’t there! So, they wrote messages to me on the chalkboard, and climbed up on the loft in my classroom to make me a video.
I have watched the video at least seven million times. I love you, Romana. I love your family. Thank you!
What a lovely story. It is sad that you were not in school that day, but you will be forever in their hearts.
Best wishes, Pete.
Had I been at school, I would not have the wonderful video. There is always a bright side. Thank you, Pete!
Such a beautifully touching story. I have tears in my eyes. ❤
I’m so glad you liked this! Thank you, Alethea. 😍
I did. What a lovely gift you gave them with your presence, and they gave you with their farewell. ❤
This shows the importance a single teacher can have on an entire family!
I think you are right. Thank you, Pam!
This just confirms what we (readers) know about your teaching, Jennie. You touch the lives of your students. Apparently, they remember. I’m glad they left a video for you.
That’s so nice, Dan. Thank you! Had I been there, I wouldn’t have the video. 🙂
What a lovely thing for them to do. It shows just what a positive effect you have on people! You really do make a difference Jennie!
Thank you so much, Opher!
This is a beautiful story, Jenny. Thank you for sharing it with us. Clearly, you are a teacher who goes above and beyond with your kids. Bless you!
Many thanks, John. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Your words are appreciated. 🙂
That’s such a beautiful story!
They won’t ever forget you.
Thank you, Deborah! ❤️
How wonderful, to know that you’ve made such an impact on their lives!
I feel very lucky, Becky. Thank you!
Lovely story, Jennie. So great you have the video which you can watch forever. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, John. I will probably be watching the video many times. I sent the blog post to her mother. She was beyond moved. Well, that’s an understatement. 🙂
How special!! I am crying. This video is a keeper. What lovely children. You have the best job and you are the best person for the jb!!
Darlene, I was crying, too!! The video is a treasure. I am one lucky teacher. Thank you for your kind words. ❤️
This is such a sweet story, Jennie. I am sure you posted about this father who died of cancer last year, I think. Such beautiful children.
Thank you, Robbie. The father died a year or two after that first photo of Romana. It’s been quite a while, which makes their visit even more special. Yes, such beautiful children. ❤️ I wrote a post about a father in our school (not the same man) who died last year, and we all wore Captain America shirts.
Yes, that is the one I remember. So very sad.
It was heartbreaking.
A beautiful story, Jennie. How nice for Romana to be a part of your class and become wholeheartedly American. This is how it should be.
Thank you, Anneli. Yes, her becoming American while in my class was just wonderful.
It makes such a difference to the child to have a good start in a welcoming environment.
Very much so!
such a beautiful story. thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you so much!
Well this story just warms the heart, Jennie ❤
It warmed mine, too, Ritu. Big time. Thank you! 😍
Everything is perfectly and purposefully done! And you have the video to prove it!
Yes, indeed! ❤️ Thanks, Ren.
Now – THAT is proof of what a magnificent teacher you are!! While it’s sad that you weren’t there that day, you will always have this video!!
That is so kind, GP. Thank you. Yes, the video will be a treasure forever.
How sad and sweet, Jennie. You gave so much to this little girl and her siblings. I’m sure they will always carry your love with them wherever they go. 🙂
Thank you, Diana. It was just wonderful! 🙂
This was such a sweet post. It helps capture the true essence of teaching – building relationships with kids and families.
Thank you, Julie.
That is a touching video Jennie.
Thank you, Deepa. I felt the same way. 🙂
If you get a chance, look into the movie called American Rhapsody.
Tears falling… How precious are our little ones and what blessings they bring us. ❤
I know! So very precious. ❤️
You are as blessed by your students as they are by you. What a wonderful exchange of open hearts. I don’ know of many teachers that would take such an interest in their students. I’m sure you’ll see them again one day.
I really am blessed, Marlene. I like your description, “an exchange of open hearts”. That’s how it is. I think I will see them again one day. Thanks so much!
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Jennie. We give our hearts to our students, and we get back twice as much in return. Thank you for making a difference in so many children’s lives.
Thank you for your lovely comments, Pete. They mean a great deal. You are right that we get back twice as much when we give our hearts. Aren’t we lucky!
Are you on Facebook, Jennie? I started a Facebook group about a year and a half ago called Supporters of Teachers. There are only about 300 of us, and probably no more than 50 are active, but I’d love to share this story. https://www.facebook.com/groups/281121539162065/?source_id=2139080869676157
Yes!! I’m on FB. I’d be honored to have you share the story. I would love to join the group, too. When I clicked on the link, it went to FB, but would not let me open the group. Of course it’s early in the morning and I haven’t had coffee yet.🙂 Will try again after work.
Okay, that’s just me not knowing what the heck I’m doing. When I started the group, I guess I started it as a closed group. (Says the guy driving the bus blindfolded) I’ll send you a regular friend request and add you that way.
That’s so funny, Pete, and also ‘so me’ 🙂. I look forward to connecting on FB.
Jennie, this is simply wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us.
My pleasure, Charles. I’m glad you liked this.
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Here is another wonderful post from Jennie, the extraordinary teacher!
Thank you so much, Charles!
what a loving story. the connections we make with students in the primary grades has such a huge impact on their whole lives. I’m glad to hear that you and Ramona were able to touch each others lives
Yes, those teacher connections when children are young have a tremendous impact. I had no idea that my connection with Romana was still an important thing until that visit. Funny, that’s often how it happens – we teachers don’t realize at the time how much we impact children…. until years later 🙂. Thank you so much!
at least you were still there for her and could find out how much that connection meant
Yes! Lucky me. 🙂
Another wonderful story, Jennie. Thank you for sharing the video…
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Many thanks!
What a heartwarming story! I loved the video (broken arm, braces, and all).
I know! The glasses, broken arm and braces. She was three-years-old in 2010, so all those fit now 🙂. Thank you, Liz. Actually, my heart is still full. Really.
Thank you for the wonderful story. A honour to read. Michael
I am happy you read and enjoyed this story, Michael. Thank you! My heart is still full since Romana’s visit. ❤️
Touching to a lift! ❤
Thank you! ❤️
This is so wonderful and so heartwarming! It’s clear to see how much love they have for you:)
Thank you, Laureen!
Awesome post, Charles!! There are priceless rewards for being a Beloved Teacher!! Hats off to you, My Friend!! You will be one of the most remembered people in those children’s lives. Bellissimo!!
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Jennie-what a moving story. You certainly impact the lives of your children. Godspeed my friend
What a wonderful experience for all of you, Jennie. I know I would be so honored to be such a part of a family event as memorable as that. And it is incredible how Romana handled it. You are certainly the most incredible lady I have ever met I think.
This was one of those unexpected happenings. Lucky me! I was honored. Thank you, Anne. Your words are gracious. 🙂
Can’t help it, Jennie. I just love who you are as a human being, and all the wonderful things you have done to make life beautiful and joyful for those children.