“You met John Glenn? Can I tell the class that?” I asked my mom’s friend. My mom and her friend, Flo, had come to my classroom for my Opinion Publishing Party. I like to have parents and friends come to hear our speeches. One of my student’s bold and brave thesis statement was “Mrs. Donnelly is the best teacher” and I told her how I couldn’t wait for my mom to hear her deliver her speech.
Minutes before, I had heard, “She’s here!” shrieked by my student holding my cell phone. I had given her my phone with instructions to go greet my mom once she texted saying she had arrived. She held my badge to activate the elevator and off she went. My mom is 82 years old and gets around fine. But my classroom is on the 2nd floor so I like to treat her to an elevator ride when she is visiting my school for events. Today she brought her friend from church who is a retired Arlington County teacher to see my new Arlington school and enjoy the Publishing Party.
As I was taking their coats, my mom took my breath away by whispering, “Flo told me that when she was teaching at Jamestown, she taught John Glenn’s kids!”
The reason this took my breath away is because our school is named after John Glenn. On our website, it explains:
Because of this, my students know John Glenn’s story well. Also, the movie Hidden Figures has further helped us all to know this great man and his space mission.
Now this older women, tagging along with my mom today, was telling me she had the privilege of teaching the kids of John Glenn! I asked Flo if I could tell the class and she agreed. My voice got shaky as I introduced my mom’s friend and shared her connection to our school’s mascot. We all got goosebumps as she told us that after he circled the Earth, John Glenn visited her classroom with his astronaut uniform. What a show-n-tell day that must have been!
I love bringing together students and parents and grandparents for Publishing Parties. My mom’s friend, Flo, got our party off to a great start with a powerful story of her own!