Life isn’t easy for the teacher with a student whose dad is the principal, and mom is the high school math teacher. Talk about pressure. We’ve been fortunate to have outstanding teachers for our daughter from Pre-K to 4th grade, but one particular teacher stole our hearts and never gave them back. Jan Salzman. She was my daughter’s 3rd grade math and science teacher at Center Point Elementary last year. Being an educator myself, I know that sometimes the personal touch, the warm fuzzies, and the hugs don’t always come easy at the end of the day. Loving your kids unconditionally and creating a safe, warm, comfortable environment for all students is an innate ability that can’t be mimicked or reproduced by an individual who doesn’t naturally possess that quality. Life lessons weren’t overshadowed by TAKS tests and academic performance in her classroom. I asked my daughter what made Mrs. Salzman so special. Kids are so intuitive.
“Whenever I was finished with homework in other classes she would let me come into her classroom and help tutor other kids.”
“When she found out I took dance lessons she said she used to be in dance and even showed me some of her dance moves!”
“Since I've been in 4th grade, I don't get to see her very much anymore. When she comes into the office while I’m with my dad, I run up and hug her. She makes buzzing noises, shakes, and says that I am ‘recharging her Eiko battery’.”
“If any of us made a mistake or a bad grade, and we were upset about it, she would just laugh, tell us it was okay and to shake it off.”
“She taught us really good math way above our level.”
“If any of us left her a nice note about how awesome she was, she would always write us back…that day.”
“She taught us CScope Science. It was fun!”
“She always told us she was thankful we were her class.”
“One time I heard her tell my friend that she was sweet and a good girl in class. I thought that was really nice.”
What did my daughter learn as a 3rd grader in a small Title 1 school by an overworked, underpaid teacher? Eiko knows her teacher loves her no matter what. She learned that she’s worth the extra blood, sweat, and tears. She’s valuable enough that her teacher would spend countless hours, days, weeks, and months planning, prepping, researching, learning, creating, and training to be the very best teacher for her students. Mrs. Salzman is a diamond in the rough, and we are so thankful she has touched our daughter’s life.