I did my best to prepare. I set out her notebooks, folders, morning work, and pencil. I made her an envelope for her class money. I added a class job just so she would have one and feel special. I made her a nametag.
I waited with baited breath as the day began and for the office secretary to bring her up to my classroom.
From the moment she stepped into my classroom she brought a new cheerful light. She always smiled. She quickly got the hang of everything. She became friends with everyone. She asked questions, she shared her experiences, she gave her ideas, she shared what she'd learned in her old school.
She was learning. She was making progress.
Then, one month later, just after Valentine's day, she brought notes in for everyone in the class.
"My family moved back!" she told me. "This note is for you!" It came with a chocolate heart taped to the envelope. I watched as she passed the other handwritten notes out to all of my other students in the class.
She spent that one last day with us, and just like that, just like she'd came, she was gone.
Dear Miss Maddox,
I am so glad I got be down here in your class.
You will always be my favorite teacher.
My students still mention her sometimes. They miss her. I miss her, too. I hope she is as bright in her current school as she was a light in my class.