Archive for February, 2022

Teaching Kids

February 26, 2022

My favorite thing about teaching kids was the kids. They’re so much fun to be around. And they have so much love, a kind of love you won’t find anywhere else.  

As a teacher, every year I had the privilege to be with a group of kids for nine and a half months. During that time, my number one objective was to do everything I could to strengthen and support families.  

Parent conferences are scheduled early in the year, so teachers can meet all the parents and talk about our goals and address any concerns that the teacher or the parent may have.  

One year, a mother told me during our parent conference that her daughter was really enjoying my class, and the mother was happy about this because the girl had some problems the previous year during third grade. I told the mother this shocked me because she was such a spectacular kid, very enthusiastic and a real joy to be around. 

Anyhow, fourth grade was a grand success for this kid — she made all sorts of wonderful progress, socially and academically. The mother expressed gratitude every time I saw her. 

A Knock on My Door

One morning near the end of the year, I got a knock on my door before school. It was the girl and her father, whom I had never met before. The girl was holding a gift. 

The father said, “Mr. Bray, my wife and I would like to thank you for everything you did for our daughter this year.” I invited them in and told the father that it was my pleasure to be around his wonderful daughter every day. 

I have never seen anything more beautiful than the love parents have for their children. Nothing I have ever accomplished on a professional level ever made me feel better than knowing that I played a small role in the life of this family. Like Ira Gershwin said, “They can’t take that away from me.”  

She Called Me Gramma

There are some kids at an elementary who shine so bright that everybody knows their name — all the kids, all the teachers, and even the parents and volunteers. Liliana (not her real name) was one such student.  

Liliana lived with her gramma, and she was always saying things like, “Gramma said this” and “Gramma did that.” One time I walked past Liliana’s desk as she was working on a project. She pointed at her work and said to me, “Gramma, look!” Then she raised her head and gave me and the class the funniest look I ever saw, as if to say, “Oh my God, I just called Mr. Bray Gramma.”  

It was the longest sustained laugh I ever experienced in a classroom. I had to sit down because I was laughing so hard. I was actually very flattered because I knew she loved her gramma very much. 

by Richard W. Bray 

Love Angry

February 17, 2022

Love angry
Love selfish
Love empty
Love cruel
Love like a miser
Love like a fool

Love stupid
Love needy
Love lying
Love loud
Love like a loser
Always too proud

Love hopeless
Love hurtful
Love hungry
Love vain
Love like a bully 
Pass along pain

by Richard W. Bray

The things of this world

February 11, 2022

Wake and rise
Live aware
Hunks of matter
Dance in air

Raise your arms
Plant your toes
Release your body 
Mix your soul

Get outdoors
Touch some dirt
Smell the sky
And live the hurt

by Richard W. Bray

Wacky doodle doo

February 5, 2022

Wacky doodle doo
I just lost my shoe
Hopping off to school
I never follow rules

Hip hip Horatio
I live in outer spacio
Napping on the moon
I'll visit Venus soon

Sippy Ki-Yay
My juice box is ok
Free Fi Fo Fum
He never bothered anyone

I don't know the muffin man
Too dense, too dry, and too much bran
Get it off my table
I'll have another bagel

Roses are yellow
Davey is mellow
Violets are purple
Tammy likes myrtle

Big Bo Peep
She don't need no sheep
She's happy, smart, and rich
And sweaters make her itch

by Richard W. Bray