| School Daze |

School Daze: Sixth Grade   

I can’t wait to see Mrs. Taub’s reaction when I get everything right. (At least, I hope!)


As told to Perel Stone

Monday, February 6


hen Mrs. Taub called my name for attendance and asked if I did my homework, she started to mark an X in her attendance book like always. But I said yes.

Mrs. Taub looked up and smiled at me as she made a check next to my name. Since our meeting last week about my report card, I’ve paid attention in every single class and done all my homework. It’s only been a few days, but already, teachers are starting to notice. They don’t really say anything, but when I hand in my homework, or raise my hand to answer a question, their eyebrows go up.

Mrs. Taub is giving us a Chumash test on Wednesday, and I already started studying. I’m going to study every day until the test. I can’t wait to see Mrs. Taub’s reaction when I get everything right. (At least, I hope!)

Sunday, February 12

Mrs. Taub handed back our Chumash tests today. I got 100 percent plus ten points for getting all the bonus questions right. There was a note on the test: Please see me after class, I have an idea for you.

After class I went to her desk.

“Atara, do you remember you asked me what I wanted when you wrote, ‘something that would make you happy’ on your check?”

I nodded. Mrs. Taub pointed to the test in my hand and smiled.

“This makes me happy. Just keep it up – you’re already making me happy.”


Thursday, June 28

We got our end of the year report cards today. I got an A+ in every single subject. All of my conduct grades were E – excellent.

When Mrs. Taub sat with me to give me my report card, she quoted the Mishnah “mikol melamdi hiskalti – I’ve learned the most from my students. ”

“Atara, you’ve taught me how much a person can change if they really want to. In all my years of teaching, I’ve never seen a student change so much. You didn’t just improve, it’s like you’re a different person.  You work hard and get good grades. Everyone loves you, your fellow students and all of your teachers. This is who you really are and who you’ve been all along. You just had to see yourself that way.”

It was true. I was popular and successful. I thought of all the years I had no friends and my teachers barely tolerated me. It was all because Mrs. Taub had believed in me, that I was able to believe in myself enough to make the effort to improve. I so badly wanted to tell her thank you.  But I knew if I opened my mouth, I wouldn’t be able to talk, I’d just start crying.

Mommy bought Mrs. Taub a beautiful picture frame for her to put pictures of her baby in. Mrs. Taub was married for a long time before she had a baby a few months before the beginning of this school year. She told us a lot of stories about her baby over the year.

I wrapped the frame and wrote Mrs. Taub a long letter. It said, “Until this year, I never wanted to wake up in the morning for school, and I dreaded every moment. Now, I wait every night for it to be morning, so I can go to school again. It’s all because of you. You showed me who I could be.”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 921)

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