A Cake Instead of a Note

by Susana P.

1/27/20242 min read

When I was a child and somebody asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I always answered with a big smile, “I will be a teacher!”

I studied in a private school managed by nuns, where all things had a female touch. The only single male presence was the priest who celebrated the weekly mass, to which all students liked to go to sing in a choir.

Nuns were living in their singular world, and I realized some of them had no teaching skills. I watched each of my teachers in order to build “the perfect teacher”; I was choosing what I liked about them.

I adored Sister Mª Pilar because she was a great storyteller. When she spoke, she hypnotized me in such a way that I couldn't stop looking at her. She had the ability to explain Spanish grammar as if she was performing a play.

She used her powerful voice and accompanied her stories with the movement of her arms and the expression on her face (I believe that her true vocation was that of an actress). With her performances, she showed the affection she had for us.

Miss Raquel was a very kind, adorable woman. She was tenderness in person. Her look was pretty and, every single day, she took time to dedicate a sweet look to all the students. Her eyes connected with ours. With just that look, she made us feel loved, encouraged us to continue learning, and congratulated us on our achievements. Definitively, it was her way of telling us that she loved us.

I achieved my dream of becoming a teacher and I worked hard over the years to be that "perfect teacher" that I was building with pieces of all my teachers. I have always thought that the best way for children to learn is by feeling loved. Don Bosco said: "It is not enough to love children; children must notice that you love them".

When I was about to retire, I received one of the most beautiful gifts a teacher can receive. I was in a school in a very poor area of ​​a big city. The students were children or grandchildren of immigrants who did all kinds of work to be able to lead an almost, almost dignified life. The truth is that they did not care much if the children learned to add or subtract or some history.

They were dropped off there at eight in the morning and picked up at four in the afternoon. In my class there were twins, Ivan and Jaretzi, who had an enormous desire to learn. At home, they had no books and no one to tell them stories.

Their father worked in another city, and their mother was a baker who made cakes for a living. At seven years old, it was amazing how well they had learned that 250g of butter is a quarter of a kilo of butter, as well as that 250cl of milk is a quarter of a litre of milk.

They excitedly explained to me the beautiful decorations that their mother made with cream and sugar and when she had received an order for a very large cake, they helped by going in the family van and holding it, so that this little work of art would not be destroyed.

A few days before the end of the school year, the custodian told me that they had left a box for me at the school reception. When I picked it up, I was surprised that there was no note or the name of the person who had left the box.

I walked to my class and when I opened the box, I saw a beautiful cake on which was written in cream letters, "thank you for loving my children.”

Every time I ate a piece of that cake I tasted that I had fulfilled my dream.