Teaching 69 years!

Miss Haley retires at the age of 89 after teaching 69 years (Margaria Fichner, "Teacher putting down her pen after 69 years", Miami Herald), all but two of those years at Lakeland Senior High School, where she herself once went to school. She's never been late and has taught around 13,500 students.

Here are some thoughts from Miss Haley:

she believes that life is a series of little joys.

She believes it is a long string of choices, that each choice exacts a consequence, and if you choose to say something naughty on the video being shot for your retirement party, you must be genteel when the editor calls your bluff and lets you spill these spicy beans: ``I love being with the children. . . . That's my whole life every single day, but when I come home, then I'm ready to close the door, take off my clothes and run naked through the house.''

Here are some quotations from her students:

'She doesn't just teach you about English, but she teaches you about life,'' says senior Tori Harvey, whose mother once sat in this classroom, too.

''She just lets you know that you are special,'' says Robin Harris, class of 1987, who named her 11-year-old daughter Haley, because, ``when you're in high school, you don't really know which way you're going. She just made me interested in school again. She made it exciting to learn.''

"I never forgot her.''

"I wish I could take her to college with me.''

I hope I can become that sort of teacher.