Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy World Teacher Day

I first posted this during teacher appreciation week in 2011, and today being World Teacher Day seemed an appropriate time to update.

My Second Grade teacher Mrs. Friedman taught us how to play chess, we got to make peanut butter, and have a field trip to McDonald's. We had 5th Graders come in and read with us, and I remember thinking how much I loved school. Mrs. Friedman passed away a while ago, but I still remember the nurturing atmosphere of that class.

In Fifth Grade, Ms. Willis was hip, modern, and told us that she was on birth control! She believed in me, and helped me dig out of the math depression I'd been in from 4th grade. We had pods that year, and floated between three classrooms. I remember thinking how cool it was to be the oldest kids in school.

Seventh Grade brought me Mrs. Humphreys and much hubris. I was the star pupil, and brown nose. I was made her assistant and was responsible for teaching spelling and vocabulary to other students. No one listened to me, and I was miserable. Thankfully, they all failed the next test, and I was removed from my post, learning that it takes more than smarts to lead a classroom...

In High School there were many teachers who helped me, but the one that really sticks in my mind was Ms. Bradley. She was my English teacher for only a part of the year when she was diagnosed with cancer. She needed a blood transfusion, my blood type was a match, but I was only 17 and my parents wouldn't sign the release. I visited her at her home, and felt really helpless. She challenged me, and wasn't always my favorite, but that year I learned much more than what was taught in school. I am happy to say that she is still at that school, and the department chair. Other memorable teachers from that time include: Mr. Nix who gave me an award, and made me think of myself in a different light; Mr. Bonetti who was extremely patient with a snotty, know-it-all 14 year old; and Mr. Hansen who was the administrator garnering my wrath at the end of my time with them all.

In College it was Michael Fisher who most inspired and formed my life. He led me to the conclusion that my various interests and strengths culminated in Technical Theater, and in fact I truly belong there. I am however practical and work in corporate.

My own children have been extremely fortunate. From Pre-school with Miss Ruth as a kind and loving director, Miss Candi just loving them to pieces and singing to them, Miss Emily laughing the days going by, Miss Amy teaching them to love Australia, and Miss Michelle not taking their crap, and loving them like they were her own. I could not have asked for a better environment.

In Elementary, The Boys have and will have the same teachers the entire time. Miss Sharon, Mrs. Henriott and Mrs. Todd have such a great balance of love and toughness, and are truly invested in all of the kids doing the absolute best they can. They have set up a program that has it all. From the basics, to Spanish, Chinese, cooking, art, projects and field trips, multi age work groups, and always ensuring each child gets what he or she needs as an individual to succeed. These three women are amazing, and I love them all!

In the last year two years, we had the addition of Mr. Brian to the elementary program. He brings youth and humor and a laid back attitude, as well as male energy which the kids love. The Oldest has a year and a bit of middle school under his belt and I could not have asked for a better environment for him. He LOVES it, which will make it much easier for his little brother next year. Last year he had Ms. Wex, an ethereal woman who is dramatic and challenging and loving. He fit perfectly in her class. The middle school band director nurtures his love of music, and lets him play the instruments he wants to play.

I do have to say that I am HEAVILY involved in both schools, serving in various volunteer positions over the years. I want my boys to know how important school is to me, and that I truly care about what goes on there. At the elementary school, I teach art to 4th & 5th graders, update the marquee out front, and am the chairperson for the site council. At the middle school, I am on the board for the Parent club, and write the weekly e-mail to all the parents. I like being involved, even though it sometimes seems like I have no time to myself. That is a bit true, but it really is such a short time that I have to be involved, and I don't want to miss it.

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