Teacher’s pet. Brown noser. Goodie two shoes. I’ve been called them all. Because I actually LIKE LEARNING. Goodness, I love it. I loved school. Sometimes I hated the I was awkward/not very cool/pretty shy part of things. But I connected with teachers so well. I’ve always connected well with those older than me. Put me in a room of middle aged men and women- I can talk their ear off. Put me in a room of 20 something young professionals. FROZEN. I work really hard to be the outgoing person I am, even though I tend to be a bit introverted by nature. But trumping all those dynamics- put me in a classroom setting and I am in heaven.
I don’t know how I lucked out, but I honestly had THE BEST teachers growing up. I still remember lessons learned in almost every classroom during my elementary school days. Which seems ridiculous. And although years K – 2 are not as vibrantly stamped in my mind anymore I remember the teachers and their relationships with me so clearly. I remember great things about these first few years as a DCES Cub, like igloos out of milk jugs, angels created from stamping our feet and hands, the polar bear express, and other super magical experiences. But many of the memories have started to fade away.
But then there was third grade. I remember A LOT about third grade. Like how on the first day of class my teacher (Mrs. B) told our class it was not appropriate to run and push people over when getting into line. I remember this because she showed us the wrong way to do it. Her overdramatic impersonation of third graders lining up for lunch left an impression. I giggled, a lot. And not just that day- but the whole year. I remember on Friday afternoons we got to choose what classroom we went to and each room had a different activity going on. Obviously I always wanted to stay in her room. I hated when it was her week off- I remember playing this game with plastic pots and pennies. . . the details are a bit fuzzy but I know I really loved that game. I remember that our pencil sharpener was on the wall in the front of the room and a few times the boy in my class who I thought was cute would sharpen his pencil and I would rush to sharpen mine too. (Sorry Mrs. B- nothing to do with you, he apparently left his mark too I remember two kids in our class “getting married” at recess and Mrs. B calling them up in the middle of class to tell us about their marriage. I remember feeling like I would DIE of embarrassment if she had called me up in class like that. Memories from field trips and field days, assemblies, and special events from that year are marked so clearly in my heart. My favorite memory of all revolves around Halloween. Since you can’t just celebrate Halloween at school without offending someone we had a “Dress up Day” where each grade had to dress reflecting a specific theme. For us third graders, it was storybook characters. Specifically, we may have even had to dress as a character from a book we had read that year. . . or maybe that was just my plan since I love to be a suck up Either way, my fabulous teacher Mrs. B was planning on being Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web- a book we had recently read. And I, was going to be the ever-graceful Charlotte. The spider that the book is based on!! I felt like a ROCKSTAR. I was so excited to show up to school in coordinating attire. But then, the most terrible thing that could happen to a sweet third grade spider happened to me. I got PINK EYE. This was a yearly occurrence for me- so the minute I woke up my mom knew it. Y’all you can’t hide pink eye. If I had a cold, the flu- heck even swine flu I could have gone to school and at least made it through the parade of costumes. But no. My dreadful eye gave me away. My mom had made me the BEST spider costume I had ever seen. I had the coolest legs and you know- and I was just pumped about being a spider. How many of y’alls teachers were wearing couple costumes with you in third grade?? Dynamic Duo is probably how we would have been referred to in the days following. Instead, I had to settle wearing my spider costume to a Halloween party where a group of girls from school told me I was ugly. And then I cried. and my mom tried to make it better by saying that spiders are suppose to be ugly. So it was actually a compliment. But these mean girls weren’t rookies when it came to tormenting me so I let it get to me. I actually had to leave the party cause my mom gave me a few chances, but I didn’t pull myself together. Sorry spider costume, but you literally were a BUST. I’m still sad about our mishaps.
The reasons I go on and on about my wonderful third grade year is because my teacher was honestly THE BEST third grade teacher a gal could ask for. She was actually my teacher in Kindergarten too [She was finishing her teaching degree/co-teaching with my K teacher- something like that] My friendship with her has lasted throughout the years and her kids are a part of my family. She’s been at so many of my dance shows, volleyball games, school events- my college graduation and now her daughter is moving to go to college here too! My life has been extremely influenced by the love, lessons, and laughter she has brought into my life. I am thankful that she loves teaching. That she puts up with the politics, the less than stellar paycheck, the red tape of our school system and all the other barriers that could ware a teacher down, but pushes through and loves her students. She’s not the type of teacher who just gets by. She goes above and beyond, creates opportunities for students to learn more, and love their time in and outside the classroom. And gosh, these students are LUCKY to spend so much time with her. When she’s not in the classroom you can find her on the stage [she's quite the actress] cheering on her baby boy at his soccer games or support her sassy daughter at her MUN competitions. She’s a great friend to my momma and I love when our families spend time together! I thought about including how much I love her in my recent list of 35 things I’m thankful for, but honestly I could write 35 just about her! And that would ‘t really be fair to my other friends/family, and you know Dr. Pepper. I could fill pages with all the ways she has made me laugh and I know so many of my classmates who would stand beside me and share the hilarious memories they have from time spent with her. Her only fault is that I accredit my lack of knowledge regarding Rosa Parks’ death to her faulty classroom antics. So for today I just wanted to share a little love. A little appreciation for one of the teachers that made getting picked on a little bit better. Someone who cared about me and treated little third grade me like the adult I wanted to be. Hopefully you had many teachers like Mrs. B, but if not- know you were truly missing out on a year of complete fabulousness.
Thankful for so many of my teachers growing up, and for all my friends who are currently teachers! You all have such an important job- spending more time than most with our friends who will grow up to take over our roles one day. LOVE to you all and Happy Teachers Appreciation Day!
My sweet Momma and Mrs. B
(In costume for a performance- she doesn’t wear that to school. At least not every day.)