Teachers Are Magic Makers
It is no secret that teachers are amazing. They work tirelessly for hours on end to meet their students’ needs day in and day out. Sometimes, though, they go that extra mile … and that is when the magic really happens.
My son, Ben, is currently a student in Ms. Doussan’s 1st grade class. During the first 5 weeks of the 2022-2023 school year, Ben was in the home stretch of a 26-month long chemotherapy journey. Fortunately, his treatment had minimal impact (but for a few missed classes due to treatment) on the first 5 weeks of his 1st grade year. As the end of his treatment drew near, I asked Ms. Doussan if we could bring some sort of small sweet treat to school to celebrate the end of Ben’s treatment and bell ringing ceremony at his oncology clinic. To my surprise, Ms. Doussan replied that she had already been talking to the other 1st grade teachers and Administration about how to celebrate Ben as she was well aware that Ben’s official end of treatment and Bell Ringing Ceremony was near. After a few days, Ms. Doussan followed up with me and proposed a plan: as a sendoff to his official Bell Ringing Ceremony at the oncology clinic, the entire first grade class would be treated to an extra recess at which Ben would get to stand up and ring the school recess bell in front of his classmates. A close family friend of Ben’s who is in another grade at Hynes UNO could even be excused from her class to attend the celebration. By the time the Ms. Doussan had finished telling me about her plan, I was in tears. It was far more than I could have ever hoped for.
On the day of Ben’s Bell Ringing Ceremony, we showed up to Hynes UNO, along with Ben’s grandparents. Ms. Doussan and her fellow 1st grade teachers had seated all of the 1st graders in the play yard facing a huge hand painted sign made by Ms. Doussan that read “We Love Ben.” Many of Ben’s classmates had signed their names on the sign. A large balloon drop full of balloons that Ms. Doussan had inflated herself the night before and transported to school was arranged above the sign. Ms. Doussan called Ben to stand before his class, and in age appropriate terms, explained that Ben was at the end of a long road of medical treatment, and that he was going ring the bell to celebrate the end of his treatment. Led by Ms. Doussan, with his twin brother, Sam, standing with him, the entire first grade class chanted “Ring That Bell.” Ben excitedly rang the school bell while Ms. Doussan triggered the balloon drop! Afterward, the first graders were let loose to play and celebrate with balloons, dance music, a bubble machine, Beignet, the Hynes UNO mascot in full costume (on a VERY warm day), and popsicles.
To say that we were touched by Ms. Doussan’s thoughtfulness and support of Ben is an understatement. I was floored at how one teacher who had only 5 short weeks to get to know my son could go so far above and beyond the call of a compassionate teacher. We will forever be grateful to Ms. Doussan for providing Ben and our family with such a heartfelt experience on one of the happiest days of our lives.
Teachers are amazing every day, but sometimes they truly stand out for their genuine care, concern and thoughtfulness. Thank you, Ms. Doussan!
I could not have said this any better!! Ms Doussan was our first grade teacher too and even now in third grade she still gives my daughter that same magic as she did then .