Gloria often goes home with a child on the weekend. She has a bag, a quilt, and a journal. She is ready for anything, from graduations to soccer games, to holiday celebrations. It didn’t used to be that way, until Colin asked many years ago if she could have a sleepover at his house. “Don’t worry, Jennie. I have a night light. She won’t be scared” were his exact words. Since then, Gloria has been welcomed with open arms by children and their families.
Last weekend she joined McKinley and her family on their annual family hike to Hedgehog Mountain in New Hampshire.
While the hike was beautiful and adventurous, it’s the story of love and friendship that shines through, loud and clear. A picture is worth a thousand words.
I’m having this framed for me. No words needed.
Dad emailed me this photo and said, “Made it. Top of the mountain.”
A journal entry is even better. It puts words and pictures together.
“Gloria visited our family and took a trip to NH to see my Grammy and Papa. We also took Gloria with us on our annual family hike up MT Hedgehog. After the hike to the top we looked at autumn leaves, took pictures, and even ate cupcakes! Gloria had a great time meeting my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We can’t wait for Gloria to visit again.
“Riding on Dad’s back. Relaxing at the top of MT Hedgehog in Hillsboro, NH. A well deserved rest at the top. What a great view!!”
It’s one thing for the child to ‘get it’ and understand who Gloria is. It’s another thing for the parents to ‘get it’ and embrace it, and accept Gloria into their family. They are doing wonders for their child. I learned many years ago that a teacher must include and educate the family in order to teach the child. When families take the time to put Gloria on top of a mountain and take a photo, my heart spills over, because I know I have been a real teacher.
Gloria’s journals are in her bag, available for children to read anytime – like the books on our bookshelf. Former Aqua Roomers still want to read her journals. It’s wonderful.
On a side note, McKinley is the younger sister of Jackson. He was the subject of my favorite blog post years ago, “The Boy Who Cried Tears of the Heart.” It still makes my heart pound. Big time.
What a lovely story. Gloria is an important part of the team isn’t she?
Thanks, Opher. She really is, very much so.
Always such a joy to see Gloria on her travels. Love the photo of her in her car seat! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
That brought a tear to my eye! I wish I had know a ‘Gloria’ when I was a school.
That’s so nice, Pam! I wish there had been a Gloria in my school, too.
I just say my typo! Should be ‘known’. And in front of a teacher! And I’m an English Major! Oh the horror!
Haha! I know what you mean. 🙂
Oh my word!!! I Just saw!!!! Ok, I am a little tired and off to a nasty Doctor’s appointment. Or I am slowly going mad and this is just the beginning!
I like the slowly going mad idea. Misery loves company? Well, coffee in the morning helps. I think I’ll go and pour myself one. Best to you, Pam. 😍
A great adventure!
So awesome ❤
Thank you, Alethea. ❤️
This is such a great idea, Jennie!
Thank you, Becky!
Gloria must bring a lot of joy to a lot of kids.
Yes, she does!
What a wonderful adventure for Gloria, Jennie. Such a cute post.
It was one of her best adventures, Robbie. I’m glad that parents understand and take the time to photograph Gloria. The children are always on board. Halloween is around the corner, and Gloria has already been invited to go trick-or-treating. 🙂
How exciting. I look forward to seeing the photographs, Jennie. I am enjoying your book readings too.
I will be sure to post them, if the parent takes photos. I’m glad you’re enjoying the book readings. The next two chapters are coming this weekend.
Precious. Thanks for sharing, Jeannie
You’re welcome, John. One word can speak volumes, and ‘precious’ is the one.
What sweet captivations!❤❤❤❤❤
Thank you! ❤️
Beautiful share, Jennie! 🙂 You’re so right about involving parents and families in the education of each child. I was so fortunate when teaching–I had several parent volunteers in the classroom who were excited to ‘step in’ for kids without interacting families as home. Also fun assignments to get kids and parents talking (writing assignments). Stand-in (volunteer parents) are truly blessings. xo
Thank you, Bette. Yes, family inclusion and involvement is so important. How wonderful that you had parent volunteers step in for those children. What a gift to the children.
Blessings keep flowing and I’ve been the recipient of so many… Have a beautiful week, Jennie! ❤
That’s wonderful, Bette. My best to you. ❤️
No words, just a huge, heartfelt smile plastered all over my face!
Since I haven’t been following you that long, Jennie, I wasn’t aware of Gloria’s history until recently. As usual, I love that your thoughts are always about your students. All of your educational and teaching decisions are with them in mind.
It is also evident that the parents/grandparents adore the effort you put into being such a nurturing role model. The fact that they take part in photos and journal entries demonstrates they understand how vital Gloria is to their children.
Gloria reminded me of something I used to do when I was teaching. I would give my Star Student (each child had a turn throughout the year) my suitcase to bring home during their week. They would fill it with the treasures in their life that they wanted to share with their classmates. It also was my tricky way of reaching some of those children who were reserved and shy. As they carried my oversized bag out the classroom door, I liked to tease them with my favorite line, “Tell your parents I’ll be over after dinner.” 😎
I’m glad you got to know Gloria a bit more. She’s a gem, the real deal. I am always bowled over when parents go the extra mile to include her. It means so much to their child.
Thank you, Pete. It would never occur to me to do anything in teaching that wasn’t 100% child centered. I get the pleasure of sitting back and watching wonderful things happen.
I love the suitcase!! You really got to know the children, and they had a chance to open up. Open the suitcase and open the child. The fact that it was yours from home was the icing on the cake. Very cool idea!
I loved this so much. Precious post.
Thank you so much, Flower.
Gloria . . .what a dear way to teach. You are wonderful.
Thank you, Michele! She is a dear. 🙂
What a beautiful story … and you, my friend, are obviously an awesome teacher! Have a great weekend!
That’s so nice, Jill. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I can’t get over the significant role that Gloria has played in your teaching over the years, Jennie. I hope you turn her story into a great book someday!
It surprises me, too, John. Maybe I will do that. I also want to turn Millie the quilter into a book. Do you remember the series I wrote on her?
Yes, I do. Perhaps there are two book projects waiting for you.
A wonderful idea, and a great story. They are learning ducumentation skills too. WoW! Michael
Thank you, Michael!
Oh my this soooooo soooooo lovely. I am in tears of joy. How precious and just heart warming. Oh to be a kid again. So sweet. Truly beautiful is the heart and mind of children and you are such a wonderful teacher. Thanks for sharing this. Made my day.
Thank you so much! I’m glad it brought you joy. Your kind words are appreciated.
Jennie, once again–thank you for a beautiful post!
You are most welcome, Charles!
I love Gloria. So many things to like about this post, Jennie. The view on top of the mountain. The heart-filled smile. Gloria’s friendship to a precious little girl. Really made me smile this morning. Thanks!
Thanks so much, Cindy! 😍
It is wonderful, Jennie. Gloria is such an amazing part of your life and the lives of your children. I remember Jackson – what a special family.
Thank you, Norah. She is very special. She just went trick-or-treating , and today I’ll get to find out what she did. ❤️
I’ve seen your post in my inbox. I look forward to reading about Gloria’s trick or treating adventures.
Thank you, Norah. She always has great adventures. 😀
So beautiful…. Happy tears flow
Awww… happy tears are a good thing. Thank you, Ren.