Regina Matheney won the Southern Standard’s Christmas Memory contest and a gift certificate from Wink Skincare. Here is her winning entry:
Perhaps it is the passing of a dear teacher, Mrs. Carol Barrett, or maybe just my tired teacher brain that brought a Christmas memory to the surface.
I was an extremely fortunate girl to be a student at Eastside Elementary School during the 1970s. We had what was, perhaps, the best group of teachers ever assembled at one school. Teachers always went above and beyond.
Christmas was always a big deal for us students. However, one Christmas truly stood out, Christmas 1978. I was a fifth-grade student in Mr. Larry Yates’ home room. Mr. Yates, bless his heart, tried his best to teach me math, but his greatest lesson was sharing his love.
Now this was way before iPads and gaming systems and, well, anything electronic. On this particular Christmas, Mr. Yates bought every boy in our class a model car and all of us girls received a paintable iron-on patch kit. For some of the students, this was the best gift received that Christmas. This special gift made me realize teachers truly cared about us as people.
He picked out the coolest gifts for fifth-graders. He made teachers seem very important. Teachers had the power to care about students. Teachers were awesome. He made teaching look like a great job -- and it is. It really is. So just in case I didn’t say it then, “Thank you, Mr. Yates and Merry Christmas.”
– Regina Matheney