Friday, May 7, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week - Mrs. Turman & Mrs. Howard

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! And in honor of that, let’s give something back to those awesome teachers that we’ve all had. In an era of increasing negativity towards this profession, let’s take the time to honor those teachers who have influenced us – past or present, instructors or colleagues, whoever! Post something on your blog, then link to it above. Then….go visit! Spread the love!

The Dark Side of the Chalkboard

I still remember the morning of my first day of school. My mom made me a blue dress with red strawberries appliquéd on it. I remember my dad carrying me out to the living room and I stopped to admire the dress. And, while I don’t remember this picture being taken, there is a picture of me on the front porch, wearing my dress, with my pink (yellow?) lunch box, straight bangs and dark hair and dimples that seem to have disappeared as I have gotten older, one of the many cats we have had weaving its way around my legs, all ready for the first day of the next 18 years of my life.

I don’t remember much about the first day, or really much about that year at all, just bits and pieces…more like 5-6 snapshots more than any one sustained memory. I learned my first phone number in kindergarten (well, the first one that wasn’t my own number anyway), the phone number of a girl I am STILL friends with 26 years later. I remember Open House, when my dad told me that he had gone to school in that same building…and I remember wondering how in the world my 6’ dad fit into those tiny chairs (oh logic, you are such a cruel mistress…). I remember lining up for recess, and the day we colored pictures showing us in our chosen careers (mine was a nurse – this would be BEFORE I discovered my hatred of all bodily fluids that emanate from other people’s bodies).

But most of all, I remember reading. I learned to read in kindergarten, and while what I remember most is my mom bribing me with a new Dr. Seuss book (Hop on Pop) which I very desperately wanted and was NOT allowed to have until I could read it out loud by myself, I also remember reading in kindergarten. We had these small books that the reading teacher Mrs. Howard made for us, and my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Turman would sit down and I would read those books to her. There were short little books that had yellow covers, and hand-made books that had cardboard covers covered with wallpaper remnants, and I’m sure there were regular books too, although I don’t remember those. I can’t remember the exact topics of those books, although I am sure they were of the “Dick and Jane” variety, but I do remember reading…constantly, endlessly, reading.

I still love to read today, and while a good part of that was due to my parents’ decision not to have a television, the fact that I had a kindergarten teacher and a reading teacher that both actively encouraged me to read obviously impacted not only my enjoyment of reading, but my long-term school achievements as well. There are countless studies that directly tie reading ability to ALL other school abilities, so I don’t need to go in to that here, but suffice it to say that those two women had a direct and MAJOR impact on my life.

So thanks! Both of you were experienced teachers (funny how that works), and being in a strong kindergarten class really laid the foundation for the following 18 years of school. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Thanks for joining me for Teacher Appreication Week! I hope you got the chance to tell one of your teachers how much you appreciate(d) them!


TamMcfee668 said...

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Melissa B. said...

This is simply lovely. Thanks so much for sharing!