Remembering My Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week and the donuts yesterday, bagels today, and the posters with a poetic tribute to each teacher hung by classroom doors all around my school has me thinking back about my elementary school teachers…

My first grade teacher was Miss Myers. I wonder how old she was, really- my first grade memory sees her as quite ancient and very grandmotherly. She taught us to read with Dick and Jane. We sat in rows, in desks bolted to the wood floor.

In second grade I had Miss Coulter. Her name is all I remember.

My third grade teacher took all of us, a few at a time, to stay overnight on her farm. I remember riding in her car. It had power windows- a wonder I had never seen before. I remember that I gave in to the temptation to try them out even after she told us not to, when she left us waiting in the car while she ran in to the grocery for something she needed. Her husband was a pig farmer, and I remember the racket those pigs made.  I find it very strange that I remember that trip and I remember the phonics workbook we had in her class, but I can’t remember her name!

My fourth grade teacher was Miss Hipkiss. Who could forget a name like that? I have two memories from her class- one involved a story problem about selling greeting cards, and how would it be easier to earn $25…apparently the math escaped me, because my answer involved selling the lower priced boxes of cards, since more people would buy the cheaper ones! The other thing I remember is Miss Hipkiss is the one who figured out that I probably needed glasses when I started missing math problems because I was copying them wrong from the board.

My fifth grade teacher was Mrs. Adkins. She was chubby and jolly. Her favorite saying was “for crying out loud in a bucket!” She told a story that I have always remembered- about daylight savings time. The story goes like this: there was a tall Indian who was upset that his feet would always stick out from under his blanket at night. He thought and thought about how he could solve his problem, and finally he came up with the answer-he cut a foot off the top of his blanket and sewed it to the bottom!

In sixth grade I had Mrs. Staddon. She didn’t seem old like my first grade teacher, but she did wear “granny shoes,” the kind of black shoes with low heels that had shoelaces. I felt lucky to have her because the other choice in our school was “Miller, the killer, the graveyard filler,” the only male teacher in the whole school.

These teachers in elementary school nourished my love for learning. I remember those years with such fondness. I loved going to school! I loved each of those teachers, too. I will be so happy if just one my students remembers me as I remember them…

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9 Responses to Remembering My Teachers

  1. Wendi says:

    Beautiful tributes to your teachers. What a great idea to explore this Teacher Appreciation Week! I just adore the Daylight Savings Time story!

    • newtreemom says:

      Daylight Savings Time has been an issue in Indiana. For many years, it was one of the few states that did not change. Recently the dates for changing time have been changed and Daylight Savings Time lasts longer. Whether the clock “springs forward” or “falls back” it takes forever for me to adjust. Guess my feet always stick out!

  2. I often wonder what memories my former students take with them. I pray they are the good days and not the irate moments. I like the way you went through your elementary school teachers as a tribute. Mostly I remember the same comment that followed me through all my grade school teachers, “Talks too much!!” Ha…

  3. aruddteacher100 says:

    I can still remember all of my elementary teachers too! It is fitting that you remember all of them during teacher appreciation week…I like Mrs Adkins saying…oh for crying out loud in a bucket! That is funny! It made me giggle when I read it!

    • newtreemom says:

      Mrs. Adkins was just funny. I had a colleague at one school where I taught who reminded me of her. She was a fifth grade teacher, too. She and her husband were members of the Corvette club. She is retired now, so I suppose they are cruising the nation in their ‘vette. Makes me wonder what Mrs. Adkins did when she retired…

      I can be funny when I am reading aloud, but I am not usually a funny person. I do enjoy laughing, though!

  4. Jama says:

    I like your idea of listing your hall of teachers. Isn’t it interesting that you remember going home with a teacher, riding in her car and rolling down the windows, but you cannot remember her name. It makes me wonder how many of my students will forget my name. I just hope they will remember some of the things I have tried to teach them, like a love for reading and writing.

    • newtreemom says:

      I can close my eyes and see that teacher…I just don’t know why I can’t remember her name! Like you, I hope my students will remember the teacher who always told them reading is like breathing, you need to do it to live and the more you read, the smarter you make your brain. Maybe they will remember the picture I have of that says “Read like a wolf eats.”
      Maybe they will remember I called them writers, authors, poets. That would be better than remembering my name…

  5. onesunflower says:

    I can’t remember all of my teacher’s names – just two of my favorites and the one I “strongly disliked.”

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