Mr. McWilliams

My fourth grade teacher died last week.

He was my favorite teacher of all to that point, and remained so throughout my schooling. His class was the one everyone wanted to be in. 

He brought the incubator to school.

We were the lucky ones. 

We got to watch the chicken eggs go from lifeless white ovals to beaks pecking through the shell. When the chicks emerged our class was the first to see it. The other classes paraded through to catch a glimpse of the miracle of life but we sat with it all day long.

Fourth grade was a turning point in my life. It was the last year of public schooling I had. It was the year my best friend Vicky moved to Florida and my crush (Shawn) moved to that far away land of Ohio. Vicky and I spent many hours playing ding dong ditch at Shawn's house. I still have my diary from that year. 

Apparently Shawn passed this PTA Parent's note out one day. My mother never saw it (until now, sorry mom!)

My 4th grade Valentine from Shawn M. 

April 26, 1979 - the day Shawn moved. I gave him my Dino head eraser (Flintstones) and a pencil sharpener.
And a million letters

And Mr. McWilliams had a part in all of it. 

I am pretty sure he moved my desk right next to Shawn's on purpose. 

He probably saw the stars in my eyes every time I looked at that cute little blond-haired boy.

I hope Mr. McWilliams knew he was in the business of changing lives.

Teachers, you are appreciated. 

Not every student will appreciate you but you will be special to one of them and they will remember you forever. 

Obit if you're interested.


  1. He was quite young! As an educator your words warm my heart. We always hope that we influence and inspire. I had a second grade boy in my class who I tutored after school in reading. He went from a pre-K reading level to the top reading group in our class. Much hard work. Previous teachers had written him off as ADD. Parents refused meds and I accepted the challenge. Through out the remainder of his school years, he called me every quarter to share his grades. He was the constant reminder that it is our duty/calling to invest in lives.

  2. This is so touching. As a teacher, sometimes, you really don't feel appreciated. I know that not every one of my students will love me, but it is nice to remember that some of them will remember and appreciate me for the rest of their lives.


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