Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention, which will be taking place virtually this year. When she tweeted that she'd only be given 60 seconds to say a few words, someone very special chimed in in the comments — her second-grade teacher.
AOC quoted the Benjamin E. Mays poem "Just a Minute" in a tweet quoting a report that she'll have a very brief period of time in which to deliver her remarks at the convention. The poem reads, "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."
“I only have a minute.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 12, 2020
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
AOC's got a huge Twitter following. This tweet was retweeted more than 10,000 times and liked by over 100,000 people. It also attracted thousands and thousands of replies.
But one of those replies, from a seemingly random account, stood out. The account is @mjacobs324. The avatar is a mask. But if you dive into this person's bio, the connection to AOC becomes clear. "Veteran elementary school teacher. Uncertain about our future but inspired by former student @AOC and hopeful for Biden/Harris," it reads.
Turns out @mjacobs324 is a teacher who had AOC in her elementary school class many years ago. And when she responded to AOC's tweet with some signature encouragement, AOC took notice and responded. And it kind of broke the internet with its adorableness.
"You've got this," Ms. Jacobs wrote. "Remember all those poems we recited together in 2nd grade? It was prep for this moment. You got this."
AOC recognized her immediately. "Ms. Jacobs! Is that you?!" she responded. "Yes, I do remember the poems we recited in second grade! You prepared me perfectly for this moment. Thank you for teaching me, encouraging my growth, and believing in me as a child."
Are you crying yet? Because pretty much the entire internet was so touched to read this exchange. Teachers have such an impact on their students, at all education levels, and they often keep track of the accomplishments of their former students (even when they aren't ultra-famous congresswomen).
"I’ve got my teachers from fourth and fifth grade on Facebook and those ladies still lift me up and boost me all the time!" one Twitter user wrote in response. "They’re just as proud of 40+-year-old me as they were of 10-year-old me."
"What is it with second-grade teachers being the best?" another person asked. I don't know about you, but for me, this is totally true! I loved my second-grade teacher. I still remember a lot of that class and how exciting he made it to learn. And it's been many, many years since I was in second grade.
Ms. Jacobs was understandably a bit overwhelmed by the attention after being acknowledged by AOC. She has thousands of followers now! But while she found it wild, she used her new, larger platform to continue to talk about issues and topics that are important to her.
She is passionate about keeping school buildings closed for the upcoming year so students, teachers, staff, and families can stay safe during the pandemic. And she's hopeful for the future thanks to leaders like AOC, whom she had a hand in educating all those years ago.