(You can find a complete index of 31 days here.)
Do you have a lot of memories about being in school? I have some. I remember always loving the first day. New school supplies. New faces. New teachers. I actually loved school. I did pretty well and if you didn’t like one subject, just wait forty minutes and the bell would ring and you could move on to something else.
Most of my memories are good. Very few bad ones. And those are actually associated with a teacher I didn’t care for very much. In fact, I can only remember one teacher that I could not stand. Mr. Fox. He was my computer science teacher in high school. He would not let me go in the computer lab until I had the program written out on paper first. I don’t do well that way. Put me in front of the computer and let me do it hands-on, no problem. We butt heads. A lot. I remember going to my guidance counselor and begging to change classes. Since I had A’s in my other classes she wouldn’t let me drop it. I guess she figured I needed a challenge. Instead, I quit attending the classes. Killed my GPA but I couldn’t end my school day dealing with a teacher that wouldn’t listen to me.
Funny, there’s other things I remember, or rather, don’t remember. I don’t remember ever being taught geography. United States or world. And all I remember in tenth grade history, was giving us papers with fill in the blanks that we could do together in groups while the teacher, who was also the tennis coach, just had members of the tennis team drop in and hang out. But I do remember learning economics in fourth grade. It was awesome, we got to open a store, make a product and sell it. I made chocolate chip cookies. And I was one of the wealthiest store owners.
I don’t remember all of my teachers, only if they were exceptional bad or good.
List the teachers that impacted your life…
I’m going to try to do this in chronological order, not in order of importance.
1. Ms. Brown. She was my first grade teacher. She was older. And very strict. I remember her having me hold a ruler in one hand and making me hit myself on the other hand with it. The entire time I had to repeat after her, “I will not talk during class.” Ouch. I also remember her taking one particular little boy in the coat closet to paddle him. Hmm, I guess corporal punishment being removed means kids can have different memories of school. I just think it should have been done differently.
2. Miss Sapp. She was my third grade teacher. And she was beautiful. She had long brown hair and I think she wore high heels every day. I remember that we went on a field trip and walked downtown. In a single file line. And everyone adored her. I don’t remember anything she taught me except personal hygiene. I did have another teacher that year, a man, I remember we made hurricanes in a plastic bottle.
3. Mrs. Mullet. She was my fifth grade language arts teacher. She was fun and entertaining. And I loved everything we did in that class. And she was my friend’s mother.
4. Mr. Roberts. He is the reason I know bad things can happen in schools and parents never know. He was my sixth grade teacher. Designer jeans had just come out and girls were wearing them skin tight. He would have some of the girls stand up on their chairs and spin around or dance to show off their new jeans and would make comments that I realized later was very inappropriate. Also, he would stand just over you while you were doing work. Now I think it was to try to look down girls’ shirts. But he would kiss the top of our head or forehead. I always ducked just out of reach if I could. My skin still crawls thinking about him.
5. Mr. Tise. Best. English. Teacher. Ever. (I know those are not sentences, it’s written that way for emphasis.) He was also the drama teacher. We read Shakespeare aloud. He paraphrased anything that was difficult to understand. He taught us to think of our future. To have dreams. Big dreams. And to pursue them.
6. Mrs. Phillips. Hand down, she’s the teacher that impacted me the most. She taught me about being a leader. How to run a business. How to interview. How to conduct workshops. How to market. How to excel at public speaking. She even taught me how to shag. I went back to visit her after I graduated. I sent her Christmas cards for years afterwards. She’s retired and moved on. But I will always remember her and be thankful that we crossed paths. She is what every teacher should be. I know she listened to a fellow student that got pregnant her senior year. And a junior that eloped and married someone quite a few years older. Talked with a student who had an alcoholic parent. A student with an eating disorder. She was sooo much more than a teacher. She was a mentor. And a friend.