Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Favorite teachers ...


Marlene Terry
September is my favorite month of the year.
I love the way the air feels in the morning, and that if you look close you can begin to see a color change coming to the trees.
It's also in September that memories of my days at Wilson Elementary creep back into my thoughts. It was the month when we kids went back to school.

Mrs. Ralphs, who became Mrs. Ralphs the year she was my kindergarten teacher, was beautiful. She had long black hair (1950s style) and wore a dress and high heels every single day. I thought she was a movie star.

My first grade teacher was Mrs. Caldwell. I wasn't happy about that at all. She had a reputation for being mean.
Now that I think about it, she really was more stern than mean. But when you're 6-years old, they're the same thing.

Mrs. Sorenson who was tall and skinny and talked through her nose, stewarded over my 2nd grade years. Nothing else about her comes to mind.

Mr. Phillips was my first experience having a teacher who was a man.He took on the role of a funny uncle and made 3rd grade hilarious as well as memorable.

Two other male teachers Mr. Bickmore and Mr. Olson were my teachers for 5th and 6th grade respectively. Mr. Olson was nice and laid back. Mr. Bickmore however, was easily the most reserved and quiet man I've ever known.
Part of our duties as students, was to wake him up when we came in from recess. It never failed that he'd be sound asleep on his desk and snoring.

My favorite teacher was Mrs. Neddo. Even years after finishing junior high and high school, she remained on top of the list and still is there today.
Everybody hoped they'd be part of Mrs. Neddo's 4th grade class. ... Actually she was the one who first sparked my interest in writing. And I was in heaven every Friday when we were required to read our "themes" (stories), to the entire classroom.
Over the weekend she would choose the best "themes" of the week and the top five were shared with everyone.
She was great at passing that honor on to all of us during the year. But I couldn't help but notice that I and a classmate name Jim, read our themes every single week. ... Needless to say, it was that year I had absolutely no issues with self-esteem.

Mrs. Neddo also maintained a long homemade metal pond in her classroom. To our delight, it was not only filled with water but goldfish, one for every student. The fish became our own at the end of the year.

December meant we were going to celebrate Christmas every school day and included a REAL Christmas tree that scented the room with that wonderful fragrance. Through the month we added popcorn chains and ornaments.
And on one of the coldest days we got to sample wassail. None of us liked it much, but we never forgot what we learned about it. The last week we designed and created a real wax candle to take home. ... Mine was dark blue with gold stars on the outside.

And in the spring, just before school was out, a butterfly that Mrs. Neddo provided came to school and was released inside. It flew freely throughout our classroom and left for summer vacation the same day we did!

... Hmm. How I wish I could go back for a visit even now!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.