My favorite teacher Ms. Delma Yost passed away August 2nd 2007.
I am so sad by this loss. I signed the guest book at the funeral home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota-http://www.webfh.com/fh/obituaries/tributes.cfm?o_id=137617&fh_id=10442
She really made a difference in my life. The year was 1971, just as Nixon is declaring to run for president ( remember Watergate?) My classmates taunted me- what I thought at the time was ALL the time- can an 11 year old be any more dramatic? Ms. Yost was aware of what was going on, and she asked me, and my mom if it would be ok, if I taught about what made me the way I was...the blocked nasal passage, the anatomy of what was going on, and maybe some understanding would transpire.
I'm not sure the kids of Washington Elementary 6th grade class remember that- or learned anything from that- maybe a little tolerance, maybe a little more understanding, but the one that learned the most was me.
She not only taught the core subjects she was obligated and well trained to teach, she taught me self-confidence, self-esteem, personal value, core values, integrity, determination, acceptance and yes, love and forgiveness. From that time on, I accepted the "why" as did my classmates. I learned to forgive the teasing because it came from a place of non-understanding. I learned that compassion can be shown, even when not shown to you. I learned to accept and embrace what makes each of us different.
I continued to visit Ms. Yost well after my elementary years, she allowed me to stop at her residence, learning about her pet turtle, and sharing my days in junior high. Ms. Yost never let me think that I was a bother- but a welcomed friend. What she did, truly made a difference in my life, and I will never forget or take for granted what she did for all of her students. God Bless Delma- and you. You are already missed.