Finding Mrs. Ribeiro


“We were dandelion seeds released to the wind, she asked for no return. We are saplings now with gentle hands.” ~ Sarah Kay

I am pretty sure I’m not the only person that was impacted the day I heard these words but I promise I felt like I was the only person in the room.  Earlier that day, a friend and colleague shared words with me that are now planted in a very special place in my soul.  Among the things she said were – and I paraphrase – “You are like a dandelion…moving from place to place and leaving your gifts everywhere you go.”  She reassured me in that moment and reminded me that my nomadic spirit and the constant craving for change and adventure is a part of me that I must embrace and nurture.  So it goes without mentioning that when I heard Sarah Kay say those words in her poem, my heart jumped with enthusiasm for the unknown journey I was about to take.

My journey is one that I once thought I would never be enough to walk. It is the journey to find Mrs. Ribeiro, the subject of a poem that reminds me of the teacher I want to be. I long to find the beautiful being that “glides like a sailboat through the hallways,” and makes them “wonder…question…and proud of what [they] learned.” Every morning when I step into the mystery that is my classroom, I dig deep within myself and search for her. Some days she is but a glimmer of hope beyond my reach. Yet other days, she is so bright and magnetic and real that I can touch her.  Either way, the searching itself has power to bring light into my students’ world to illuminate their love for learning in ways that are far beyond my understanding.

I believe each of us carries the spirit of Mrs. Ribeiro.  My desire is that we would have the courage to search for her and give her room to shine her brilliance so that they will also say about us:  Our teacher “let us fly.”


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