What’s in a Name? Words that Have Meaning to Me

“Did you know that my name means ‘harvester’?” I asked my husband.

“Harbinger?” he replied. “Did you say harbinger? Sounds right.”

He thinks he’s so funny…


What’s in a name, anyway? I’ve always closely associated my name with  Mother Teresa, a person I deeply admire. A giving, loving soul, she spent her entire life in service to others. She founded several charities, worked among the poor, and served God faithfully until the day she died. She is quoted as saying “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” – words that have meaning to me.

What's In a Name? Words that have meaning to me.

I find myself living by these words on a day-to-day basis. When I see a person in need, I reach out. That’s part of the reason I teach–to make the largest impact I can on the world. I want to reach young people and help them.

The other day, I got a Facebook message from a student I taught my 2nd year teaching. She sent me her graduation picture and told me that she always wanted me to see her in her graduation robe. I had since moved away, so we’re fortunate that social media opens up that link for us. She told me I was one of her favorite math teachers. As the person who taught her when she was just in the 7th grade, I feel honored that it meant that much to her. I poured my heart and soul into those children, talked to them when they needed a shoulder, and did all of it in hopes that one day they’d make it. She did. She went from my resource class in middle school to going for her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management in college. Another of my early students joined the Navy and another joined the Air Force. All of them wanted me to know what they had done since leaving me and I am so proud.

“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” ~Mother Teresa

In my room, my students know I care for them. They feel loved, even if they don’t feel love anywhere else. Sometimes it’s tough love, but they know that means I will never give up on them. I will stop at nothing to see them succeed. So maybe my name does also mean “harvester.” But I’m not gathering a crop of plants. The seed I’ve planted does not belong to any tangible fruit or vegetable. I plant several seeds and sometimes those seeds don’t get harvested for years. I plant seeds of hope, love, knowledge, trust, and support. The harvest comes when I see those seeds develop engaged learners who reach for more than just a passing grade and aspire to do more than graduate.

My hope? That I never lose that driving force inside of me that pushes me to do just a little bit more. I just care that much.

“The person who gives with a smile is the best giver because God loves a cheerful giver.” ~Mother Teresa

If you want to help out a classroom in need, please visit this DonorsChoose.org link. If you use the code SPARK to donate, they will match your donation dollar-for-dollar up until November 18th.

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