Edward Pratt's April 8th column titled "Take time to notice good things" reminds me that though I gave up the classroom years ago, part of me will always be a teacher. I am reminded that life in the classroom was not a "crystal stair," but current events make me realize that the knowledge and strength I acquired will always be an indelible part of me.

For example, I was shopping in a going-out-of-business neighborhood store recently when a very neat young man entered wearing a hooded jacket. The clerk very nicely asked him to please remove the hood. When I observed a slight pause in his step, I said, "C'mon, young man, let us see all of your handsome face." The young man removed the hood, bought his merchandise, and went out of the door.

The retired teacher side of me and this young man shared a very uplifting conversation as we headed to our vehicles. He was well-mannered and knowledgeable. He understood the reasoning behind the removal of the hood. He understood what I imagined could have been the motive behind that slight pause in his step. As we respectfully parted company, I visualized this down-to-earth young man unselfishly sharing his knowledge and wisdom of this event with others, most especially with individuals of the younger generation. I, also, thought of my last year in the classroom when I sought police department advice in the management of a challenging combination of students.. How many of these individuals have "seen the light" and are now responsible members of our world?

On Mother's Day, I complimented a supervisor for looking extra nice. It was this supervisor's daughter who added sunshine to my classroom management at a crucial time. The work ethics of another employee reminded me of a relatively new principal whose students have great respect for him. Life for this administrator probably is not a "crystal stair," but I do visualize him as a promising link leading to a brighter, more uplifting tomorrow.

Barbara Spencer

retired high school teacher

Lafayette