Jaylen is my why

A thank you card I received from my buddy Jaylen

I just finished my 12th year teaching JA to 1st graders. Each year, it just gets better and better going into the classroom. This year was no exception.

I was so thrilled how they remembered from the previous week what we had talked about – we always go over the words from previous weeks. Totally impressed when they remembered the word “entrepreneur.”

There was one boy, Jaylen, who became my buddy. When we talked about maps (he brought up GPS), I explained when I was a child we used maps to get places. Now you have to understand, he has quite a sense of humor…he asked if I used a map when I was riding horses. I gave him so much grief for thinking I was THAT OLD!

As I left after our third week of lessons, I told the kids I would be back for two more visits. Jaylen asked if I could be back for “infinity.”

So yesterday, during my last visit with them, I shared stories of kids in my life and what they have done after high school – one is an opera singer (so I did a little singing of “Figaro” and Jaylen comes out with “BRAVO”!!) Then I told them about a female family friend that is in the Navy. She has been in Afghanistan and helped get schools built for girls there. This was not even what she was there for but she thought it was important to make this happen. She was also one of 22 women selected to be the first women on submarines and also had been invited to the White House to have breakfast with the Obamas. So I mentioned how incredibly proud of her I was. Jaylen said, “we are really proud of her too!”

In the short amount of time that I spend with these kids you can see you are making a difference. I absolutely love this!

Jaylen is my why.

Terri Betts

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