In an unexpected turn of events, a first-grade teacher at Harmony School of Innovation was shocked by her mother’s return from military service.
Samantha Norris last saw her mother, Tamie Norris, when Samantha celebrated her graduation and birthday around a year ago.
In the video, Tamie enters Samantha’s classroom as she tells her children to pack their bags and then goes away. Samantha’s jaw drops in surprise.
Samantha stated, “It was the last thing I expected to come.”
In Iraq and Jordan, Tamie had served for a total of 11 months. After raising Samantha and her brother, she rejoined the military and returned to her duties.
After watching the video a few times, Samantha said that she was a little surprised by how quickly she lowered her face mask. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is happening!’ and I wanted to show her I was so thrilled, too,” she said.
Her mother, she claims, has always been a fan of the unexpected.
In one hand, “I’m the teacher, I have to be cool and collected, so [the kids] are calm and collected, but inside I was just so excited like leaping about,” she added. “It was as if there were no other people in the room at that time.”
Samantha and Tamie were thrilled, but so were the kids.
“It’s been a constant conversation with me and my students like where my mom is because in the beginning of the year we talked about the Pledge of Allegiance and why we say that, so I’m just really open with my students with my life, and they can see me as a human being too,” Samantha said.
Military history was discussed with the students.
“Once the video cut off they were so excited, asking her so many questions, she let them try on all the gear, it was such a good experience for them too for them to see a woman in the military, I believe,” Samantha said.
Mother and daughter were allowed to see one other’s classrooms. Her first year of teaching has begun.
When Tamie returns from her deployment this autumn, she’ll spend the summer at home in Dallas.
For the time being, Samantha is content to be back at home.
For the previous year, she’d been wishing for this very moment.