A little thank you for a lot of work

I think there is someone who deserves some recognition. Her name is Mrs. Beemer and she’s a kindergarten teacher at Jack Hulland Elementary School. More than a teacher though, this woman is a superhero. She goes above and beyond pretty much every day. I don’t think I’ve ever met a better person. I work with kids every day and I have learned so much from her.

She could retire. She’s earned it after all these years, but she has wondered aloud what she would do without the kids. The real question is what would the kids do without her? Some, including me, believe her school would be a sadder place without the love and sheer affection Mrs. Beemer has for all her kids. For all kids, period. I’ve worked in almost all of our Yukon schools and I can truly testify that we have some pretty wonderful teachers, but she is a light that shines so bright that everyone is drawn to it. She goes the extra mile for her kids and their families, often providing that extra bit of help that allows a struggling family to hang in just a bit longer. Whether that help is with practicalities, finances, or just a listening, non-judgemental ear, Mrs. Beemer is there.

One little girl was terrified of entering kindergarten until her teacher-to-be started emailing her over the summer, telling her how much she looked forward to having her in the class. The girl’s mother told me that on the first day of school, her daughter was in tears, insisting she didn’t want to go until she received a message from her teacher that very morning. Suddenly she was in the car.

I’ve seen kids so scared of visiting the school dental room that they wouldn’t even enter the room. A few minutes later, there they were in the chair, getting their teeth counted while Mrs. Beemer held their hand, beaming because she knew they could do it. And the kids were proud too.

That’s what she does. I’ve never met anyone who can see the potential in each little person like she can. I’m sure she gets frustrated and tired and probably even annoyed, but I’ve never heard her raise her voice. Her kids learn how to treat others just by watching Mrs. Beemer every day. Year after year the kids come and the kids go, but they don’t forget her. They may not be in her class anymore, but they can always get a hug and an encouraging word on the playground. I’ve spoken to high school kids and when they realize I know Mrs. Beemer, it’s like they’re five again as they tell me about their favorite teacher and how kind and patient she was. Not to mention silly. I’m not the only wistful adult who wishes they had been in her class.

And you know what? Mrs. Beemer doesn’t forget her kids. My foster daughter is turning 20 this year and every once in a while, Mrs. Beemer still asks about her. I’ll bet she can’t go anywhere in the Yukon without running into one of “her kids” whatever age they may be now.

I think what I admire most about her is that day after day, she shows up. Whatever her health issues, or other challenges, she can usually be found in her classroom, doling out kind words and hugs to those who need them. She sets the standard. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. I think I might even want to be a teacher.

A thank you goes a long way.

Do you have a thoughtful, community-based thank you that you would like to submit? Please send your name (nothing anonymous) and short (40 words or less) thank you to [email protected]

The city bus driver who knows where I work called my office asking for “the woman who rides the bus in the morning.” She asked me if I forgot my sandwich and offered to bring it to me.

Erika Serviss-Low

I’d like to thank the Yukon First Nations Wildfire firefighters, Chad Thomas and Jordan Profeit. who went to Australia to help during the awful 2020 bushfire season. THANK YOU

Chelsey MacDonald

My neighbour across the highway, who I have not met in 7 years, saw me shovelling ploughed our entire driveway after our recent big dump. More importantly, we chatted, made a connection and planned getting together for coffee.

Monica Garcia

Raising girls’ voices with rock and roll