Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 12, 2014

My Kindergarten Graduation

In the Fall of 1992 I read a delightful book by Robert Fulghum entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” Fulghum’s common-sense observations about life resonated with millions of people, propelling his book into the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Robert Fulghum Books
Fulghum believes that what we really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be we learned in Kindergarten — things like share everything, play fair, clean up your own mess, say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody, wash your hands before you eat, be aware of wonder, and much more.

Mrs. Espericueta
On July 23, 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Mrs. Espericueta, my Kindergarten Teacher. I had the best time sitting with her and listening to her share stories about how she started the first Kindergarten program in my hometown of Mission, Texas in an old one-room building with broken windows. She not only saw potential in the abandoned building, she also saw potential in each of her students.

I’m also glad that I had the opportunity to tell Mrs. Espericueta what I remembered about her class. I was frightened on the first day of school but she calmed me down. I did not speak any English but she patiently worked with me to learn English one word at a time. Mrs. Espericueta was also a woman of faith and taught us how to pray. In fact, she taught us many of the things Fulghum talked about in his bestseller.

My Dad called me today to tell me that he had just learned that Mrs. Espericueta passed away on Saturday. She had spent the final years of her life living with a daughter and passed away peacefully. I told Dad how glad I was that I had the opportunity to thank Mrs. Espericueta for investing in my life and blessing me with good memories of Kindergarten.

Omar 2
Somewhere in a box in my attic is a photo of me in my Kindergarten graduation attire. Mrs. Espericueta had dressed each of us in white caps and gowns for the occasion and gave each of us a Kindergarten diploma. It was a big deal at the time — first-fruits of things to come, the first milestone on my educational journey. And today, looking back on it all, it’s still a big deal. I am grateful for Mrs. Espericueta and count it a special honor to have been a member of her first class of Kindergarten graduates. She was indeed a wonderful person and a gifted teacher.


Responses

  1. This made this kindergarten teacher smile! I hope my students remember me as fondly as you remember Mrs. Espericueta. I also hope I can make a difference in their lives!

    • God bless you, Courtney, for investing in children. You are indeed touching lives and touching the future as well.

  2. Wonderful tribute, Omar! Thankful for people like you and Mrs. Espericueta in the world.


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