Back to School

Look at me, keeping you up to date. 🙂 Well, sort of… this happened a little over a week ago, but it is worth mentioning!

I went back to my school for the first time last week. Let me start out by saying that it was incredible. The school was putting on a play of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and it was really important for me to show support for these kiddos who worked so hard. I did not tell them I was coming because I didn’t want this to be about me. I didn’t want people to come for me, I wanted them to attend because these young actors have earned it. I did tell one of my sixth grade teachers and the play director so that they wouldn’t be caught completely off guard. My initial intentions were to just sneak in and watch so that I did not disturb the play. After some thought we decided that this would’ve been way too chaotic as people would see me and start to chatter 🙂 So as I came in I snuck backstage where the actors were getting ready so I could say hello. I didn’t want them to get distracted by me on stage! WP_20130315_003They all gathered together and I said that I was proud of them, I wouldn’t miss this for the world, and that they are very important to me. They were so quiet while I was in the room, and their eyes just lit up sparkles. As I left, I heard squeals of joy and the girls jumping on their cell phones to tell their moms that Ms.  Owen was here. It made me smile, and it reminded me how much I really do love my job. After that I went to the gym foyer so that I could say hi to everyone coming in for the play. WP_20130315_006I thought if I sat down in the gym I may have gotten ambushed by the wonderful people in my community. So welcoming everyone as they came in, gave us a good opportunity to say hello and then they could grab their seats. It was so sweet to see the families, the kids, and everyone else in my little school community. At one point, a student came out to grab something from their mom and saw me. He turned his head, paused, and said “oh, hey, Ms. O”, and then left. It was so cute to see him feel like everything was just the same.

The real stars of the night were the kids. The play was beautiful, and they did a really superb job. We may have some Hollywood actors on our hands. WP_20130315_007Frank Love did a beautiful thing by dedicating the play to me. At the end of the show, the director came up on stage and said that she was glad I came, that I was an inspiration, and that I have shown great persistence and determination. All 500 people in the room gave me a standing ovation. Cheering loud, long, and with true enthusiasm. I cried. I was just so touched by how much everyone cared for me. It made me realize that each person in this room is cheering for me, and that they think of me, and that I am important to them. It was one of the most heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced in my life.

After the show, I got an opportunity to see just about everyone. 🙂 It was so nice to see my students from this year and I got to see some of my kiddos from last year.

my sassy little 7ies-  with permission

my sassy little 7ies- with permission

They all looked handsome and beautiful. As kids from all ages came to greet me. They said things like, “I’m glad you’re feeling better”, “Ms. Owen how do you feel?” It was really wonderful to see kids trying to process this tragedy and my current state of being. They want to say the right thing. When they hear about people in the hospital they think about sickness, so understanding how this works is a challenge. My sweet sixth grader Heck, I’m not sure I understand it all the way. But what really makes my heart melt is that each of these children look at me in the eyes and wish me well, and mean it with everything they have. Throughout all of this I consider myself lucky for what I have, and for what I see in the future for all of us. Compassion, generosity, hard work, and love.

Stud muffin - with permission

Stud muffin – with permission

I think the pictures in the music room are blurry enough to protect student privacy. If you feel otherwise, please email me ASAP at

If you have a photo of your child  from the play that you would like me to add to this blog, please feel free to email me at I would love to share your kiddo’ s sweet face with permission.

with permission

with permission



15 thoughts on “Back to School

  1. This is so moving, Jessie. What a wonderful gift you are to the kids, and they clearly are to you. What a blast you all must have had with this visit! It sure is hard to get one’s head around all that has happened and is happening, except to remember that we all live one precious day at a time. Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

  2. Jessie, you are so wonderful and an absolute inspiration. These kids know what they have in you!! 🙂 you have touched them just as much as you have touched all of us!!! I love reading your selfless posts and blogs. I cannot imagine going through what you have. Thank you for enlightening me 🙂 you rock Ms. O!!! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing this Jessie. Very moving experience and so special for everyone there. Made ME cry reading this. What precious kiddos. Hugs, love and prayers.

  4. This is awesome. So nice to see you with your students! I can only imagine how stoked they must have been to see you!

  5. Jess, this is one major chapter in the Best Seller you’re going to write. You’ve touched these students in a way they’ll remember all of their lives — you know, that “show” don’t “tell.”
    So proud of you!
    Giant Hugs!

  6. Isn’t it just the most AMAZING feeling to know that you really LOVE what you do and all of the schooling and decisions you’ve made are totally worth it? To me thats just the best realization you can have and I am soooo happy for you. Congrats to Jaime for being able to go home. That’s so incredible. And congrats to Steven for being able to stand. Just small steps guys. I love you all. Happy Easter! ❤

  7. We were all so excited and inspired to see you and see the excitement on the students faces as they talked with you! Thank you for making the effort to come!

  8. We are all cheering for you Jessie. You show us what bravery is. Your bravery brings us to tears and prods us to be better. You show us what grace under fire is. And through all of this you share your smile and melt our hearts. Thank you.

  9. Jessie, the other day the first grade team were meeting about “writing essentials” 🙂 and upon reflection, you and your oh so touching and beautifully expressed words came to mind. Yes, your accounts bring tears but always through a smile. Bravo for you lending your support to your students, for walking the walk and ever so powerfully talking the talk through this venue. You have, as they say, touched their lives, and many others for life. Yes do…
    Write and publish, you have much to offer! Keep on keepin on!

  10. ms. owen,
    i did go to the play. but i went the day before you came. i felt bad that i didnt get to see you, my wonderful teacher.
    i’m so glad to see you in such a positive attitude.
    lonnie gregory
    (whens the next time youre gonna come to the school so that we can all see you???)

    • yea! we all miss u ms.owen! cant wait to see you, hopefully u will come to see us at the end of the school year! -Christina Harrington

  11. Jessie – you are truly amazing. When you go back to the classroom you will have so much of life and learning to share with your students. You will truly change their lives.
    Holly Moore

  12. Met a teacher in Puyallup today, 6 th grade, she and her students are following your progress and cheering you on! Amazing how many lives you are touching my girl with your tenacity, spirit, love

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