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Students Make Elderly Teacher Cry Tears of Joy as She Enters Classroom after Husband’s Death — Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Jun 30, 2022
11:30 A.M.

Sylvia Harris was a music teacher at a high school in Virginia, and she was known for being strict. When she started teaching a new eleventh-grade class, the students were unhappy. But suddenly, the teacher stopped coming to class, and when the students learned what happened, they decided to do something heart-stopping.

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"Good morning, everybody," Mrs. Harris greeted as she entered the music room at a high school in Virginia. She heard some students moaning quietly, and she knew they would do so. The 65-year-old music teacher had a reputation for being strict in class, despite music seeming like a light subject.

Some kids enrolled in music class not because they cared about the craft but because they needed the credit and thought they could get away with it without issues.

But Sylvia took her job seriously, and teaching music was a massive passion for her. In her mind, these teenagers needed to respect music, composition, lyricism, singing, etc.

Sylvia walked to the piano and started her lesson. | Source: Pexels

Sylvia walked to the piano and started her lesson. | Source: Pexels

She walked to the piano in the corner and started leading them into a song to get them warmed up. This semester, she was going to teach them about composition and songwriting. But they had to be inspired first.

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Therefore, she always started her class by singing. It loosened people up, although she quickly called out anyone who tried to joke around, which might explain why some students didn't like her teaching style. Still, they would have to put up with it.

Sylvia understood immediately that her students knew what happened to her.

Usually, she taught the seniors, but her colleague, Mr. Benson, had finally retired, so they also needed her to take the junior class. That was fine. She loved her job, even if the kids sometimes looked at her in fear.

Unlike her colleague, Sylvia had no plans to retire anytime soon and she would often get lost in her lessons, in her passion for the craft.

Soon enough, her class was almost over and one student raised her hand.

One student asked Sylvia what she listened to in her downtime. | Source: Pexels

One student asked Sylvia what she listened to in her downtime. | Source: Pexels

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"Mrs. Harris, what do you like to listen to in your downtime?" she asked curiously. Sylvia didn't know the student's name yet, but she had shown the most interest that day.

"I bet she listens to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky at home," another student mocked, making some of the others laugh.

"You would think that, but I actually like a lot of pop music, and even some of the things you, young people, listen to nowadays. I love Dua Lipa and Harry Styles. But I must admit that I listen to a lot of oldies, especially Paul McCartney," Sylvia quipped, smiling at the kids.

Some returned the grin and started asking about other singers and bands. But the bell rang before she could entertain all their questions and they had to leave. However, it seemed like the fear in her students had thawed a bit that day and she was hopeful that they would warm up to her, even with her strict ways.

Sylvia felt like a zombie and didn't want to do anything until her daughter encouraged her to listen to music. | Source: Pexels

Sylvia felt like a zombie and didn't want to do anything until her daughter encouraged her to listen to music. | Source: Pexels

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Soon enough, the students got used to her, and some started taking her lessons more seriously. Others still liked to be playful, and although Sylvia called them out quickly, she wasn't truly mad at them.

However, the worst was yet to happen. Sylvia's husband suddenly died in the middle of the school year, and she didn't have the heart to go to work after. Fortunately, the school was accommodating. They understood she needed to grieve and gave her a well-deserved time off.

At first, Sylvia was like a zombie at home. Her pain was too hard, so she spent her days in bed. She didn't even listen to music anymore. But when her daughter encouraged her to start playing tunes once again instead of wallowing in silence, she began to play again and she would play music 24/7 until she decided she wanted to return to school.

She finally called the principal, letting him know she was returning and she was ready to get back to normal, even if the love of her life was gone.

Sylvia was finally ready to get back to teaching, so she called the principal, informing him about her return. | Source: Pexels

Sylvia was finally ready to get back to teaching, so she called the principal, informing him about her return. | Source: Pexels

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"Good morning, everyone," she began upon entering the classroom for the first time since her husband's death. She placed her things on her desk and started to speak again. "Before we begin, I want to apologize –"

But before she could go on, the sound of notes being played cut her off. She watched the students as they held up their instruments and played a beautiful tune for her. Dulcet notes filled the classroom, and Sylvia recognized the song immediately. It was Paul McCartney's "Here Today."

Gina, her best student, sang the sweet lyrics, "But as for me, I still remember how it was before…." and Jonah joined her at some point singing, "And if I say I really loved you, and was glad you came along, and you were here today…."

When the students finished their song, Sylvia had a beautiful realization. | Source: Unsplash

When the students finished their song, Sylvia had a beautiful realization. | Source: Unsplash

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Sylvia understood immediately that her students knew what happened to her. They knew she had lost the love of her life, and they were giving her a gift she would never forget. Tears filled her eyes as they finished the song, and she had to take a seat to take it all in.

They had no idea what this moment meant for her. Because although her daughter had encouraged her to listen to music, she didn't truly understand how it could honestly help her. Now, she did. Music was also the other love of her life, and teaching was her life's purpose.

Her students approached her one by one, offering their condolences, and the girls hugged her tightly. She could only thank them for their kindness and the beautiful gesture as tears flowed down her face.

Sylvia wiped her tears and started her lesson. | Source: Pexels

Sylvia wiped her tears and started her lesson. | Source: Pexels

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After a few minutes, she wiped her tears. "Ok, let's get back to work!" she chirped, her voice still emotional. But her words made everyone laugh. They knew their strict teacher was back, and it made them happy.

What can we learn from this story?

  • The best teachers can inspire students in unexpected ways. Despite having a reputation for being strict, Sylvia's students were moved to sing a song for their grieving teacher.
  • Music can help you overcome some of the most challenging moments in your life. Sylvia's daughter encouraged her to listen to music, and her students played music for her, showing her exactly how music would help her get through her grief.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an older school teacher who came home on Christmas Eve and saw strange footprints leading to her door.

This story is inspired by the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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