When Emma Brandon began teaching she earned $36 a month, walked three miles one way to school - seven miles if overnight rain made the creek too swollen to cross - and toted her own lunch of biscuits and syrup. A lot has changed in the 63 years since. There are computers and standardized tests. Schools have been consolidated and integrated. Principals have come and gone. Last week, Brandon decided to step out of the classroom for good, becoming one of the hundreds of Mississippi school teachers to retire this summer. Brandon said the key to her longevity was the ability to stay focused on the students. "I never had to push because I showed so much love for them," she said. "I showed them they were wanted in my class - like if they didn't say good morning, I would greet them. I taught them to be courteous and tried to set a good example." But she made the decision this year would be her last because her license expires.
"If my license had not expired in 2010, I would have stayed more years if health allowed," she said. "I never was absent (from school). I never was late." Brandon said she plans to spend her retired days in her garden, quilting and doing missionary work with her church. But it won't be easy for her to stay away. "Ever since I started school as a kid at 4 or 5 years old, I've been in a classroom," she said. "I'm just going to stay out of the La-Z Boy chair as long as I can."
Whole Story here: Retiring after 63 years.
Talk about dedication to the task! What an impact she's had on literal generations of people. You take your rest, Ms. Emma… you've earned it. Does anyone have a teacher from their youth they want to shout out today?