Thursday, May 31, 2007

Teachers I Remember

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....

2 comments:

Crazy Baby Lady said...

I am no expert as my daughter and son are FAR away from school age but I too remember my teachers, the bad ones in particular. You need to do what is best for Rabbit's future. Though losing friends and gaining new ones can be traumatic at first regaining her passion for learning after a teacher squashes her imagination and self esteem is even more devastating. She will be fine because she has you and you are doing what is best for her. She will be upset and sad but she will find new friends and hopefully inspiring teachers that will make her happy again.

You are the Mama and you know what is best.

Manhattan Mama said...

Hey Lady,
(Because I refuse to refer to you as "Crazy!)

Thank you so much for the comment. It's funny though. We try so hard to make life better for our children -- try not to cause them unnecessary pain.

And then a father on the playground said to me yesterday: "Sometimes, when we try too hard to protect our kids, we actually do them harm. And doing something that long term is better, which in the short term may sting, is one of those hard lessons we all have to learn sometimes." I just hate the idea of having The Rabbit at age 4 have to learn that lesson.....