When you're a teacher, you never know exactly how, or if, your students will remember your lessons.
One New York teacher found out this week in a Twitter exchange that's warming hearts.
“I only have a minute.
Sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, I did not choose it,
But I know that I must use it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Suffer, if I lose it.
Only a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.”
- Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
(and recited by Elijah Cummings) 💜 https://t.co/ul9CE7NriV
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 12, 2020
When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez realized she had just 60 seconds to deliver remarks at the Democratic National Convention next week, she shared her apprehension by tweeting the Benjamin E. Mays’ poem, “Just a Minute.”
One response truly touched the freshman representative from New York.
“You’ve got this. Remember all those poems we recited together in 2nd grade? It was prep for this moment,” a Twitter user with the user name MJacobs shared with Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez knew exactly who was cheering for her.
“Ms. Jacobs! Is that you?! Yes, I do remember the poems we recited in second grade. You prepared me perfectly for this moment,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Thank you for teaching me, encouraging my growth, and believing in me as a child.”
Ms. Jacobs is Mai Jacobs, a teacher who hoped she made a mark on her students by sharing poetry with them, according to the Washington Post. Jacobs did not respond to a TODAY Parents request for an interview. The tweet helped her feel like she had impressed some of them.
“It’s like, ‘Oh, I did have an impact,’" she told the Washington post.
She also showed her approval on Twitter by pinning the response to the top of her page with this message:
“One of my lowest days this summer, worried about my teaching future. And then this.”
One of my lowest days this summer, worried about my teaching future.
And then this: https://t.co/0ZzAGdqZei
— mjacobs (@mjacobs324) August 12, 2020
Jacobs shared her support for Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives when she started at age 29.
“I’m here. I’ve been here,” Jacobs said. “You are my superhero! I want to give you a hug when hugs are safe again. Always, always here for you.”
I've been here. (Trying to reach you for the past 2 years...)
You are my superhero!
I want to give you a hug when hugs are safe again.
Always always here for you.
PS Sometime I can share the page you wrote in my end-of-year teacher book.
— mjacobs (@mjacobs324) August 12, 2020
Others found themselves smiling after seeing the two women reminisce.
“I had just told my wife earlier that I couldn’t find any good news today. The small things were being drown out. Ty, I needed this,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another said, “So Wholesome! Honestly teachers deserve so much! Children are the future and teachers are the ones who shape them into becoming leaders of tomorrow.”
Jacobs also felt moved by reconnecting with Ocasio-Cortez.
“Twitter is like putting a message in the bottle and throwing in the ocean, and you hope that someone will find it,” Jacobs told the Washington Post. “In this case, it landed on a shore somewhere.”
Other people shared their memories of how their grade school teachers influenced them.
“I still remember my second grade teacher and I’m 59 years old,” one Twitter user shared. “Mrs. Shambaugh gave me my lifelong love and reading and gave the best hugs! God bless our educators, let’s value them and their flock; by keeping all safe.”
“I don’t know where you are, Mrs. Swirles, but your week-long lesson on the meaning of the word discrimination, when we went back to school after the summer of the Detroit riots, has never left me. Thank you for opening my third grade heart.”
When someone suggested that Jacobs be nominated education secretary because of “the wonderful results of your work with AOC,” the teacher balked.
“Politics? Ick. Kids are my people.”
Kids are my people.
— mjacobs (@mjacobs324) August 13, 2020