Sugarmama made a good point to me in the comments that how much about our earlier teachers do we actually remember? I think she's right. And also right that having friends around is important. But then it got me thinking last night, as I was nursing my return to the living from a bout with food poisoning, and I realized I remember a lot about mine. And I really remembered the ones who didn't seem to jive with me.
So here's to the teachers I do remember -- and loved:
Preschool, Mrs. Grace: taught me how to draw my belly button on a picture. Let me feed our pet parrot birdseed. Called my mom when I told her that, "Mrs. Grace, I didn't come to school to work. I came to play." See? Already someone helping me from turning to the dark side.
Kindergarten: Bad teacher. Don't remember her name. But she made me practice my letters all the time at my desk. Lame. And never paid attention to me. I remember that.
1st Grade: Mrs. Phillips. Had an awesome rug in the library area where we could read. We studied snakes and insects. She loved to let us paint.
2nd Grade: Mrs. Minnix. The best! We made cities out of milk cartons.
3rd Grade: The lost year. Handwriting trauma.
4th Grade: Many teachers. Mrs. Clendanan, the gym teacher, stands out in that my mom had to come to school to meet with her and the principal and explain that if she picked on me one more time she'd deal with her.
5th Grade: Mr. Feldhandler. We built our own library. Raised ducks, chickens. He rocked.
6th grade: Ms. Diamond. Taught us about ecology, conservation. (She was dating one of the founder of the TreePeople.) Helped me write poetry. Encouraged me to write plays, which she would staple and put in our library. LOVED HER.
By 7th grade it was a melange of teachers for different subjects. Many I remember for these enthusiasm, love of the subjects they were teaching, patience and most of all -- humor. I guess hope The Rabbit has at least a similar checkerboard pattern. I guess I feel my job is to give her the best option for finding them....