A sweet little kid who grew up a few doors down from where my sweet little kids did had a good day today. She’s a teacher now and she wrote on Facebook that she had spent over an hour talking to one of her students today, “connecting” with him/her. And I gathered the student had his/her share of problems, but was rising above them, no doubt partly because of teachers.
“We have awesome jobs,” she wrote.
At the start of the “Oh, your job is easy; you don’t have to work in the summer” season, it’s a good time to remember that some pretty awesome people have those jobs, too.
Joan Hochman, a third-grade teacher at Woodbury’s Middleton Elementary School is obviously one of them.
She had to leave her students in April, however, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, returning after 15 years.
“That was the worst thing,” she tells the Woodbury Bulletin. “It’s still hard because I just love those kids – they’re such a wonderful, caring class.
“How could I not go back and see them?” she said.
Because the doctors told her she couldn’t. There were too many germs in the building, a dangerous situation because with her being on chemotherapy, any infection could be deadly.
So last week, she stood outside the school and met her students one last time. She couldn’t hug them — germs, you know. So she gave each of them “air hugs,” the paper said.
“You just grow with these kids all year,” she said. “I needed to be able to see them one last time because I won’t be able to come back in the fall and we’re not sure if I’ll be able to come back at all.”
She says the odds of a cure for her cancer aren’t good.