By Kaitlin Johnstone

So Many Things are Possible...

Driving away from my childhood home this past week, for what could possibly have been the last time ever, left a whole in my heart and a pit in my stomach. Their vintage coo coo clock rang out one final time as my friend Angelica showed up on my doorstep20447264_10102941387971882_1608847599_o with two buttered hard rolls to enjoy for our long trip to the airport. For those of you not from New York, it’s hard to describe the joy this long-awaited, northern food choice brought me. With tears swelling up behind my sunglasses as we drove off, memories on my dad hauling us in sleds tied to a three-wheeler came racing through my head. Late night dance parties with old friends, which eventually turned into all night bonfires in our backyard years later, consumed my thoughts. The smells of hundreds of meals cooked by chef Deb (my mother) filled my nose.  Sounds of laughter from stories my friends and I can barely remember drowned out the noise of the radio in the car. This very moment embodied the end of an era for me and then another thought raced into my head. The reason behind all the beautiful memories held at the Lambert residence was clearly my parents. Our home was the place all my friends wanted to go and it was 14233031_10102326479997392_3773805456964196454_nsimply because everyone was not only welcomed, but they were a part of the family. It is because of my parent’s love, support, and encouragement that I felt the drive to succeed. They taught me that “So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re not impossible.” From an early age, I was taught to believe that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough. Many years later, it was their voice inside my head telling me that it was my turn to pass this knowledge on to others. What better way to inspire someone than to become a teacher? Today, when I think back on my career thus far, I cherish every student that has walked into my classroom. I love to watch them grow and become educated, kind, individualized people. However, when I think about this quote there is one child that comes to mind. He was the child that other teachers warn you about. The one who may not always keep his hands to himself. The one who needed my constant attention every day. The one who calls out as opposed to raising his hand. He was the one who needed special seating, a behavior chart, velcro B8801 pebble so many things backunder his desk, a chew necklace, one on one conferencing, but most of all, he needed to be cared for. Needless to say, he was the child that I loved unconditionally day in and day out. And although not every day was perfect, he was successful. He learned to read and retell stories. He learned to add and subtract. He learned to write a full sentence (the first one in fact was “I like Ms. Lambert”). Most of all, he learned to express himself and cope with his feelings, which is what made him feel accomplished. I was recently asked of all the memories I’ve had as a teacher, which stands out the most. The answer was simple. One day during independent work time, this child came up to me with his arms opened wide and latched onto me so tightly as if he had to tell me something. He then whispered “thank you.” Intrigued, I asked for what. The words that came out next will forever be ingrained in my soul. He told me that he was used to getting in trouble in school and that he was so happy because in my room he could feel good about himself. And in that moment, I was thankful to have passed on this little bit of knowledge to a kid who needed it the most. So, with school right around the corner, remember that we do make a difference and that so many things are possible…

love kaitlin


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