Teachers, Art and Things That Last Forever


When I was a child I would spend hours quietly playing by myself. Endlessly entertained by my wild imagination – I would stay up all night long drawing pictures. I was weird and solitary. My best friend was a dog.

School was difficult for intense, introverted kids like me.

It is so easy to become lost..

Sometimes, forever.

I don’t remember much from those days.. after all, that was over 40 years ago.

But I remember Mrs. Kelly – my elementary school art teacher.

Mrs. Kelly would sit next to me and quietly marvel over the drawings I made. Afterwards, she would put them in the glass display case in the hall outside her class – for all the world to see.

Now, volunteering to teach art to a group of inner city kids – I find myself drawn to the introverts. The quiet kids sitting alone.. trying to disappear into the background.  I sit next to them. I draw with them. I speak quietly with them – and I marvel over the drawings they make.

If you are a teacher and think you do not make a difference – you are wrong.

You make all the difference in the world.

The time you give to your students can literally change the course of their lives. Your kindness and encouragement will echo inside them, and will continue to touch the lives of others forever.

Your reach is further than you can imagine.

Thank you, Mrs. Kelly… wherever you are.

I never got the chance to tell you that I love you.



  1. I think we all have those special teachers. That’s why I dislike the current climate of teacher-bashing. Thanks again, Miss Mortlock, Mr. Shiver, Mrs. Hammerschlag. And my children’s special teachers too: you know who you are (because many of you are now my friends as well).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so identify with being that introverted kid. I know I spend way too much time on Facebook. For years I had been trying to find my art teacher from junior high school, Catherine Shiebler. She was also my homeroom teacher. I had a real connection with her and spent many hours after school just talking with her in her classroom. I was a lonely kid and seemed drawn to kind adults. Ms. Shiebler was very kind, a good listener, and encouraged me with my artwork. And then suddenly she was gone. Mid-year. Not at all a frequent occurrence.
    A few years ago I found a Facebook page for my junior high school and posted that I was looking for her. I received a response from an English teacher from junior high. We became Facebook friends. She had been good friends with Catherine (it still feels odd referring to teachers from 45 years ago by their first names) but had lost touch and didn’t know where she was–but if I did find her she too wanted to get in touch with Catherine. They were both very young teachers when I was their student.
    About a year and a half ago Catherine Shiebler joined Facebook. At first I wasn’t sure if it was her. She was living in Birmingham, Alabama (I live in New York) and her photograph was of a woman 45 years older than the woman I remembered. I sent her a private message. I had found her! We corresponded, became Facebook friends. My English teacher also reconnected with her.
    Catherine’s died about six months ago. All the time I waste on Facebook is worth it because I found Catherine Shiebler. Artist, teacher, friend. Someone who inspired me 45 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this! Time on Facebook is far from wasted if it enabled you to reach out and connect with a beloved teacher. I am so sorry for your loss, but I’m sure it meant the world to her knowing how much she had inspired you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As one of those shy, intensely introverted children myself, I can total relate to your post. For me it was my Creative Writing teaching who gave me the encouragement I needed. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Mrs. Kelly is a Mrs. Adams. She was from Australia and I loved the way she talked! She was demanding and firm but I respected her to the nth degree! She now follows my blog and likes every post on Facebook — still the encourager of al things creative and informative!!
    Thank you for this BEaUtiful post!
    Blessings, Jody


  5. Beautiful story. I was also an introverted child and loved expressing myself through art. It was a wonderful creative outlet. I’ve been creating art ever since, so it has no doubt made an huge impact in my life!


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