For WebsiteRiley comes bouncing into the cafeteria at Union Elementary on Thursday afternoons, She has already had a long day at school. I love her attitude and willingness to work hard on the lessons.

Riley and I enjoy our relationship. She says, “My Study Buddy makes learning fun.” I am not sure that Riley knows that she makes teaching fun.

When I first met Riley, I felt there was something familiar about her. I asked if any of her relatives went to Union. Yes, she thought they had attended Union. The next week she had a guessing game for me. Yes, I had taught her mother in first grade. “Who is your mother?” I asked.

Well, in typical Riley fashion , she gave me a hint. Giggling, she said, “Morris.” Ahhh! “Now I know your family,” I said. “I was your mother’s first grade teacher! How things come full circle.”

Riley enjoys her relationship with Martha: “My Study Buddy makes learning fun.”

I love to sew. Through the years I have made many of my own clothes. I use my experience as a seamstress to tell a story about effort and not giving up. I passed along the story to Riley one day when she was getting discourage working on a math lesson. I have a jumper that I wore to school. The students all liked it because it had a big yellow sunflower on the pocket.

I told them that I had to apply and re-apply that sunflower several times before I had it right and the pocket in the right place. The lesson here is that we don’t always do it correctly the first time and that is okay. The important thing is that you keep trying.

We Don’t Always Do it Right the First Time