Here's a little secret about me that I've never shared with anyone before:
Every time I tie my shoes, I think of Mrs. Carroll, the teaching assistant who sat at a table in the hallway between Mrs. Dubois and Mrs. Roberge's kindergarten classroom at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Blackstone, MA.
Mrs. Carroll taught children like me a myriad of life skills like zipping up your own coat, memorizing your phone number, and tying your own shoes.
I can remember sitting in that hallway like it was yesterday, learning to cross and loop laces until I could tie my own shoes without any instruction. Without even looking.
I was five years-old when Mrs. Carroll taught me a skill that I still use today.
Every time I tie my shoes, without exception, I think about Mrs. Carroll. I can see her sitting across from me, glasses perched on her nose, determined and unwavering, insisting that I master this skill before first grade.
Teachers never know how long their lessons will live in the hearts of their students.