Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Sweet Teacher

I think my grandson Jackson
has a crush on his
kindergarten teacher.
Other than the stars in his eyes
when he talks about the
day at school,
he's been carrying around
a purple construction paper heart
with her name on it.

They're a lot like men.
You either love them
or hate them.

A teacher can make quite
an impact on your life-
some positive,
others negative.
But no matter how they
effect our lives,
we will always remember them.

I remember my third grade teacher
better than any teacher I had
in high school.
Her name was Mrs. Irvin.
She was young and pretty
and made everything fun.

In fact, everything about the
entire year was fun.

It was the year that they were
building a new cafeteria,
so we had to take a packed lunch
to school everyday.
My mom would cook all us kids
a little Jeno's pizza
and wrap it in foil.
It was the best pizza ever.

The other kids could keep their
fancy cartoon lunch boxes and
cool thermoses!
We never felt jealous of anyone
who was forced to eat bologna
or peanut butter.
We had pizza!

Third grade was the year
we learned telephone etiquette.
One rotary phone was placed
in the classroom,
the other outside the door
on the gym bleachers.

We were taught how to answer
properly, take a message, and
how to say goodbye.
Back then everything was
pretty much a party line,
so we were also taught not
to stay on the phone for
long periods of time or
to invade others privacy.

Spelling was my favorite class.
And Mrs. Irvin would give
a piece of candy to anyone
who made a 100 on their
weekly test.
Sometimes I would
sweat over that test-
study all night-
wring my hands in anticipation
of that single piece of candy.

Mrs. Irvin also said that
if everyone in the class got 100,
she would bake a
German Chocolate cake!

We waited a long time,
but finally it happened.
I think maybe she rigged the test
with easy words that week.
But, as she promised,
we got our cake.

One time she brought in
a deep fryer and
let us make biscuit donuts.
We took a paper sack
full of sugar and cinnamon
and placed the hot dough inside
for a good shake.

She sure made going to school
everyday a treat.
And, looking back,
maybe that is where
I acquired this sweet tooth.

She had us all bring a bar of soap
to school and we carved fish
out of them.
Then they took them to
the locker rooms for gym showers.

We made puppets out of
paper mache' and old light bulbs,
put on plays, took field trips,
and listened to a song about
the multiplication tables
over and over and over.

I sometimes wonder
about Mrs. Irvin.
She's got to be old now.
Probably not so pretty
and her memory not so clear.

But, once upon a time,
by her kindness,
she made learning fun.

And I've never forgotten.