Dear Teacher

Dear Beloved Teachers, who blessed me with so many amazing 'teachable moments' as you loved to call them. (This is a shout out to all of the teachers who have made me feel super uncomfortable in the classroom)


Thank you so much for leaving me out of EVERY single birthday celebration that has included food. It made me want to jump for joy and scream at the top of my lungs how happy I was! It made me feel SUPER special and warm and fuzzy all over. That cupcake looked super gross anyway. I especially loved when you would have me sit at my very own table ALL by myself (because I was brand new to the school and nobody wanted to sit with me at my egg free table). Oh wait! That's because EVERY treat you gave out contained some sort of egg product. Even the lollipop you gave my at the end of the school year. Good job, you ALMOST succeeded in killing me, but here I am blogging about my wonderful and magical moments🤗.

I remember when you made us make skeletons out of noodles without telling me what the ingredients were because you didn't feel it was important enough. For all I knew they were egg noodles. I will NEVER forget touching those things, and how scared I felt. Was my last moment on earth going to be gluing on an ankle bone to a piece of paper? Of course not! But how was I supposed to know that as a 7 year old. The part that I loved most, even more than you passing donuts out all around me (because that was pretty amazing in itself), was your big fat giant bag of candy in your closet. It probably contained each and every one of the top 7 allergens, unless... you had a bag of cod liver candies in there too, which would make it 8. The moment in which you passed out both York chocolates AND Baby Ruth's made me want to sing with joy. I couldn't believe how very kind you were to me. I always wanted to know what a chocolate made with egg whites looked like and felt like. I squished it with delight.

So many wonderful and magical moments, I don't know what to write about next. The egg burritos served at hot lunch were a cherry on top. I liked watching the steam come off of them as it was quite memorizing at age 7. However, it didn't quite match up to the smell of the egg sandwiches you served at Grandparent's Day. I begged my grandma to eat one, and then hold my hand, but she refused. Instead she ran around with a wipe in hand. Still to this day I'm puzzled as to why.  And holidays, I loved celebrating holidays at your school. I especially couldn't get enough of Valentine's Day. With every single brand of candy, to touch, to hold, and to cuddle with. I loved watching my mom go through my box of candy and throw away everything that wasn't safe for me to eat. Oh wait! That was my ENTIRE box of candy. That's okay because I just loved holding an empty box😁. It made the world around me sing, and once again I was reminded of just how special I was. Halloween was the same at your school. I was hoping and praying to get the bag of candy at morning assembly because all the candy we got in class surely was not enough.


Ahh... Good old Dia De Los Muertos. The smell of that bread tickled my nostrils. I loved watching everyone cram bread down their throat. The trail of crumbs was so beautiful and touching. It brought a tear to my eye (No! It literally did). I enjoyed myself for 3 hours trying to figure out the maze of egg containing crumbs without stepping on them at 8 years old. I am proud to report that navigating through the maze of crumbs seemed to get a little easier by time I hit 5th Grade. This memory was quite a-MAZE-ing!

Who could forget about those good ole seasonal bake sales. You thought you were just raising money, but you were actually raising my blood pressure, SO bonus to you! I loved watching all the kids licking chocolate chip cookie off their hands as they walked into the classroom and then shared my pens🍪.

And who could forget my first experience seeing an egg cracked open. I had always wondered what the inside of an egg looked like. My parents never blessed me with this experience. I  absolutely loved watching the egg drip and ooze from your hands. I watched as you broke a REAL egg over your head, used as a prop in a skit when you were trying to be Ramona Quimby. I squealed along with the other kids. Egg splattered every where! I waved my hands high in the sky like little kids do at Sea Life Park. Splash me! Splash me! I will always be grateful for your generosity in giving my mom another opportunity to clean up after yet another “teachable moment.” It was absolutely EGG-cellent!

And lastly, my first year in middle school and my first time sitting in the principal's office, not once, but twice with all you lovely teachers (weren't there 4 of you all together?) It was one of the most thoughtful things that anyone has ever done for me. I truly did appreciate that teachable moment. I loved how you refused to let me switch buddies to someone who didn’t suck their fingers after eating eggs, AND then hold my hand. I absolutely can’t thank you enough for all the attention and LOVED showing the more vulnerable side of myself by crying in front of you. It made me get in touch with the more tender side of myself. I admire you for trying to force me to work through my fear of holding hands with someone who ate eggs for breakfast. It empowered me and made me realize, wow, it is possible to do without breaking out in hives. I am definitely considering doing it more often. In fact, I am going to tell my mom that she shouldn't be afraid to eat eggs and give me a big whopping kiss on my cheek. I love the adrenaline rush- the way it makes my heart race and stomach turn. Every Sunday night I would jump up and down and run around the house yelling that I was looking forward to mass tomorrow. Who would've thought that sitting in a pew in mass could give me the same rush as my first time on a roller coaster.

I truly can’t thank you enough for all the teachable moments. I can hardly wait for future birthday celebrations, closets full of candy, Dia De Los Muertos, bake sales, visits to the principal’s office to try and explain why I'm feeling unsafe, oh oh oh and those over night field trips - I can't wait!

Okay okay, that was definitely a letter full of sarcasm. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some very supportive and generous teachers who have taken my food allergies very serious to the point my first grade teacher (at the public school) threw a hard boiled egg in the garbage reminding a classmate that eggs are not allowed. Woo-who! They were my role models, and demonstrated what true compassion and empathy looks like. Those were my best years.

And hey, this might seem a little dramatic to some of you, and you might think “Well gee-she actually has to eat the foods to have a reaction”, but that’s just the way my brain processes things. It’s like having a gun passed around the classroom. Even though it’s not loaded it still scares you.


Tune in next time when I do a "What A Middle Schooler Wishes Teachers Would Know When It Comes To Food Allergies." and then I will touch on the 'Good' that comes from food allergies and oh yes, as with anything, there is good that comes from having them. 

Comments

  1. LOVE the expressive writing. An intelligent, with masterful descriptive images of classroom life, written with genius sarcasm to pack a punch (no pun intended. Or, on second thought, let's leave it in). Smart kid, observant, aware, no BS, zero hypocrisy- the stuff of true leaders. This kid needs the sticker: "My degree is sarcasm depends on your level of stupidity."

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  2. Indeed masterful descriptive images of classroom life. The fact that you can have such a great sense of humor and turn all of this into a positive speaks volumes to the strength of your character. Clever and witty way of summing up your experiences that sadly are not uncommon in the school place. I hope teachers and admin read this and can learn from it as well as students who may be struggling, to know that they’re not alone.

    Never mistake quietness for weakness. You are definitely a quiet force to be reckoned with. It is often the quiet, strong and determined who make real change in the world.

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  3. I like to express my admiration for your positive attitude in regards to a
    life threatening allergy.
    I call it an "allergy pandemic". Here we are in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic with all kinds of unpleasant restrictions. But since serious allergy reactions affect only a few, it is being pushed aside by many people - even though both create the same daily fears, concerns and anxieties.

    Could COVID-19 possibly increase compassion for those having to live a more restricted life due to serious allergy issues? Perhaps in a few people, but not all.
    Therefore, I encourage you to continue to be a voice for those families affected by life threatening allergies.

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