Yesterday I had the privilege of going to the retirement luncheon for one of my favorite people, Sandra Sue Traylor, THE BEST MATH TEACHER, in the WORLD. The whole world voted and she won. Really, I am sure. I counted the votes, and EVERY one knows how accurate I am....so there you go.....it is official!
Sandy, as those who know and love her call her, taught at Plainview for 27 years folks. She didn't start out in Math. I think there was a few years in third or fourth before the Lord gave her a sign (like a Math book appeared in a pile of junk (I meal teaching materials) on her desk and she knew it was God telling her to take the Math position for Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Grades. For all you non teachers out there.....that is three preparations for every day and about a gazillion math papers to grade every night. And don't think she didn't grade them every night....she might be blind in one eye now and can't see out of the other nowadays but she graded every dang paper and if those kiddos didn't bring back that signed average card the NEXT day...they wouldn't see recess until they did. And she meant that thing. And if they managed to get to fifth grade without knowing the multiplication tables....heaven help them....they'd better bring a picture of the sky and the sun with them to school because they were never going to see either until they learned those tables....we are talking backwards and forwards in a timed test!
But the thing is Sandy never demanded any more of her students or principals than she demanded of herself. So we all improved by being on the team with her.
And she wasn't just left brained (or which ever side it is that does math) she read novels to her classes. The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever are a few I remember. And she reads bunches for her own personal enjoyment. And serves God in her church.
Sandy is a woman of few words. I am a woman of oh so many words, but we connected. The first day I came to Plainview to interview the kids saw me talking to the Principal in the cafeteria and reported to her that her sister was in the cafeteria. Since her sister lived in Virginia she did not really believe that possible. We had some things in common. We both had twins. Her twins were the same age as my non-twin daughter. I was from Washington, DC, she was from Va, (we both just missed being Yankees) She helped me understand life from an introverts point of view......I helped her tolerate extroverts.
Sandy has overcome many obstacles (divorce, breast cancer, depression to name a few) and they have all helped make her one of the FINEST people I know and one of the Best teachers I have ever known. Happy, happy, happy, retirement Sandra Sue.....I love You!