Teacher's 'Memory Dress' Is A Tradition That Should Spread Like Crazy

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Teacher has students create a “memory dress” for her to wear at the end of the school year

An Oklahoma teacher chose a very unique way to remember her class at the end of the school year that fellow teachers will want to copy. The result is not only beautiful, but shows what a loving and magical teacher she is and the clear impact she has on her students.

Sha-Ree’ Castlebury teaches first grade and obviously loves what she does. She tells Today, “They become one big family to me. I never want to leave them. I cry happy tears every year seeing them grow so much.”

Hello, dream teacher.

To that end, Castlebury decided to do something very creative to commemorate her little pupils each year, starting with the end of this school year. She bought a plain, white dress and fabric markers and let the kiddos go to town with original artwork and their names. Check out the gorgeous result.

She says, “It is a memory dress because I don’t want to lose the beauty of the kids as they have to grow up and move on from me. It is a wonderful thing, but so sad each year to fall in love with these kids and then have to say ‘see ya later.'”

Castlebury told her students to “to draw and write what was on their hearts and what was beautiful or important to them” and says, “I wanted their memories and love all wrapped up in a dress!”

Seriously, this woman must be the world’s most incredible teacher. She sounds like a damn Disney princess. Please move to my house and home-school my children forever, Mrs. Castlebury.

It took the first graders two weeks to finish their masterpiece including signing their names and drawing their teacher’s much-loved sock monkey. She says, “They were so careful and loving with the dress! I can tell they did their best. They soared with such beautiful artwork. I was blown away.”

It sounds like Mrs. Castlebury wasn’t the only one blown away. When she wore the kids’ creation on the last day of school, her classroom became “an all-day zoo” with teachers, students and even the principal stopping in to see the children’s handiwork. She told anyone who asked that the dress was made by her “little Picassos” and happily twirled around showing it off. “It was a surprise for the parents but the kids knew how honored I was to wear it on the last day of class. They were so proud.”

It’s a big leap of faith to let someone else mold and shape our children, and teachers like Castlebury just knock it out of the park. She’s obviously very dedicated to her job and understands her influence on these kids. I know my first grade son adores his teacher and would’ve been very proud to participate in something like this. Hopefully, other teachers see this dress and decide to try it with their own classes — it really is a spectacular way to end the school year.

Castlebury says she intends to wear the dress on the first day of the next school year and to open house so her new students “know how loved and cherished they will be too.” She is going to keep up the new tradition with each class she teaches saying, “Those dresses will always be kept. They mean the world to me.”

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