x365: 22 of 365: ms. jackson

Midway through grade three, my parents pulled me out of the class taught by Mrs. Houghton. I was sent to an elementary school a few miles out of town, a small white schoolhouse with two classrooms.

You had long brown braided hair and smiled at every student in your class. You read us The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and you cried at Aslan's death. Or should I say, you cried at the children's grief. Even at the age of eight, I understood that you read this book every year to your students, crying every time.

Years later, when I was doing spectacularly badly in high school, my mother wondered aloud if I would have benefited from staying in Mrs. Houghton's class for the rest of grade three. I would have survived the experience, but I would have lost infinitely more by never having met you.