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Friday, December 6, 2013

Mary's Motivational Message: Miss Rowe

Recently, a friend and I were engaged in intriguing conversation surrounding our years in grade school. Enthusiastically, I shared sweet memories regarding one of my favorite teachers Miss. Rowe.

I shared how Miss. Rowe was beyond beautiful.  I recall her being 25-years of age. She had long blond hair, green eyes (I think they were green), a body like Beyonce and skin the color of bronze. And if that wasn’t enough, our classroom was scented with her favorite perfumes; she had this sweet southern drawl similar to Delta Burkes on the television show, “designing women.”

I would like to note: I’m not suggesting that being blond made her beautiful…the fact of the matter is Miss. Rowe was simply a beautiful woman.
Anyways, like most grade school classrooms there were challenging students but Miss. Rowe had a way about her that was very non-traditional. She utilized a lot of positive re enforcement techniques; never raising her voice or succumbing to the use of idle threats.

It was there in her classroom that I was introduced to my lifelong favorite book, “Where the Wild Things Are.”  She read that book to us every week and each time felt like the first. In addition, Miss. Rowe would bring in homemade cupcakes, pies and cookies just because. And we were rewarded with candy and gold stars for performing exceptionally well.
As I continued to reminisce about my season with Miss. Rowe, what stood out most was how one weekend per month she would bring me and three fellow class mates to her home for a weekend celebration. I believe this adventure started as a trip to the Circus or Disney on Ice; a reward for our good behavior.  All parents agreed to allow us to participate in the sleep over for added celebration.

Her life style was a reflection of her being a beautiful single woman in the 1970’s; a charming two bedroom condo with a view, a sexy car, a oversized swimming pool and plenty of space for us girls to have a ball. We would indulge in pizza, hamburgers, or tacos for dinner and snack on popcorn, candy and ice cream while watching The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family and various other 70’s favorites. The very next morning, Miss. Rowe would make Pancakes, Waffles or French toast; no cold cereal or oatmeal for her girls.
After a hearty breakfast we would swim in her pool or go to the park. She devoted every moment to us (reading to us, board games, painting, coloring…etc). Miss. Rowe treated every one of us like PRINCESES. That scenario was played out one weekend each month for an entire year. Going to her home for me was equivalent to being at Disneyland.

As I grew into womanhood, I found myself asking, “Why did she give back on such a profound level?” I have pondered over numerous responses which have yielded no solid conclusion.
All four students were raised in the suburbs not the inner city; upper middle class families. All four girls represented various ethnicities. I don’t feel as though Miss. Rowe believed she was somehow saving us from deprivation or exposing us to experiences that were inaccessible. Perhaps, just perhaps, she did all that she could do and gave all that she could give simply because she loved her students!!!

It is my hope that one day in the near future to reconnect with Miss. Rowe and let her know that the gifts she extended to those four little girls had an impact far beyond what she could have imagined. The love she extended is stored in a special “safe” within my heart. I like so many others am forever grateful that GOD blessed our fourth grade class with an ANGEL.

Love, Peace and Endless Joy,                                                                                                                                                    Author-Mary E. Gilder

Mary E. Gilder is the author of the award winning novel, “A Misrepresentation of Myself.  And her soon to be sophomore release, “Even a Man Can Have a Broken Heart.”  In addition, Mary Gilder is available for speaking engagements. She can be contacted at or at Also, visit her website at  

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