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Whose Child Is This


“Whose child is this?” I asked one day

Seeing a little one out at play

“Mine”, said the parent with a tender smile

“Mine to keep a little while

To bathe her hands and comb her hair

To tell her what she is to wear

To prepare her that she may always be good

And each day do the things she should”


“Whose child is this?”  I asked again

As the door opened and someone came in

“Mine”, said the teacher with the same tender smile

“Mine, to keep just for a little while

To teach her how to be gentle and kind

To train and direct her dear little mind

To help her live by every rule

And get the best she can from school”


“Whose child is this?”  I ask once more

Just as the little one entered the door

“Ours” said the parent and the teacher as they smiled

And each took the hand of the little child

“Ours to love and train together

Ours this blessed task forever.”


Author Unknown


I do not choose the students who will be in my class but they are chosen for me and I often wonder what impact I will have on their lives and equally, the impact they will have on mine.

Kate Stephens will forever hold a special place in my heart for to have taught her has made me a better teacher and person.


Kate could tell you everything that she wanted you to know with her big brown eyes.  She was tiny in stature but huge in heart.  She loved to help other students and was always willing to run errands for me.  Sometimes her size would surprise the other students as she could hold her own with all of them.  I guess that had a lot to do with having a big brother.


Kate was one of the most determined students that I have ever taught.  She was going to be the first student to complete her tasks.  She hated knowing that she had something left to complete.  She wanted her work folder to be empty at all times.  That determination has reminded me not to take tomorrow for granted and to leave nothing unfinished. 

Kate, your work on earth was perfect!


Kate loved to sing and we would have fun making up silly motions to songs that we sang in the classroom.  The last song that I sang to Kate was

This Little Light of Mine.  How fitting for her life as she didn’t let anything blow out her candle.  Through all of her treatments and pain, her inner glow continued to shine!  I am sure that Kate is singing with the angels and is the shining star.


During one of our visits, Kate was at a therapy session.  I will never forget hearing the words, “I gotta go my teacher is here.”  During the past few weeks, I have thought about the meaning behind those words.  I hope I was that special someone for Kate.  Her short life on earth has shown me that I need to make sure that I am a nurturer, a good listener and that I am creating relationships with all of my students.  Kate was a nurturer in our classroom.  She was always mothering the other students and taking time to listen.  Sometimes, she would help organize me and always helped me find my glasses!  I will miss my little buddy and big helper.


Whose child is this?  She was mine too and her light will

shine in my heart forever.

I love you Kate!


Mrs. Matthews






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© Marie Woodard