As a former teacher, I can tell you with absolute certainty that people don’t become teachers for the big, fat paycheck. People become teachers, for the most part, because they love kids. Most teachers spend the majority of their weekdays with the same group of kids, learning their strengths and weaknesses, their fears, and their passions. When a 4th-grade teacher named Mrs. K.D. Meucci needed surgery to remove a brain tumor, her classroom community remained at the forefront of her mind.
Years ago, Meucci started a private Facebook group called Franklin Bedtime Stories. The Benjamin Franklin Elementary School teacher takes time every day to read to her students and wanted to extend the same opportunity to others.
In Meucci’s group, students and teachers utilize Facebook Live to share their favorite bedtime stories with anyone who wants to listen. In anticipation of her beloved tradition, Meucci packed her hospital bag accordingly. She packed the essentials, of course, along with a children’s library book.
On a Wednesday in mid-October, Meucci underwent brain surgery to remove her (likely benign) tumor. The following day, Meucci rested in the ICU, building up strength for her favorite part of the day. That very evening, the day after invasive brain surgery, Meucci opened her computer and signed onto Facebook. Holding a copy of “Mr. Walker Steps Out” by Lisa Graff, head fully bandaged, Meucci began to read.
“I’m sorry if I look a little weird. I know I look a little weird. I got this black eye going right here because, again, they cut open my head right here to take out my brain tumor,” she told her students.
She reassured her students that she was recovering, anticipating the moment she could once again join them in their classroom. Fortunately, that moment is likely near. Meucci continues to heal, and doctors believe they removed the tumor in its entirety.
“You are my friends. You are an important part of our school community. You are an important part of our world. You are loved,” she reminded them. “I wanted to see you, to see that I’m OK. I look a little funky, but I wanted you to see and know that I’m OK.”