Friday, February 13, 2015

What students remember

Sketchy Hearts by kablam - A bunch of Sketchy and lossely drawn hearts - Created in Inkscape.

visit my studio www.kablam.inI have my first evaluation today while I am collaborating on teaching research skills for National History Day. The good student in me wants to do a good job, but doing a good job teaching and doing a good job on the rubric are not exactly the same thing, which is frustrating.

This made me think of the teachers that I remember from my grade school days, which were a VERY long time ago. For anyone out there struggling with "doing a good job", think about this:

I remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Gladys Montgomery, because when I wanted to play pirates with the boys instead of being the baby while the girls were playing house, she let me. She did tell my parents that I was "bossy", though!

Mrs. Piper and Mrs. Gordon in first and second grade had open classrooms in Burtonsville, Maryland, so I would do my assigned packets and then read all day. Mike and Scott and I were all "gifted", so when the other groups were reading out loud, we got to sit in a huge cardboard box we had painted and work on other things, and occasionally got to be "human dictionaries".

In third grade, we read Trumpet of the Swan with Mr. Terry O'Halloran, and I wrote a story with all of the vocabulary words. Mine was the best, and I won a silver and red pen that I kept for years.

Miss Dixon let me use all of my spelling words to make a story instead of doing sentences. When I did the sentences, I used not only the spelling word in each one, but also the word "shoelaces". For weeks. And she never complained.

Mrs. Dunne let me stay in from recess and put her classroom library back in order when I was fighting with some of my friends in the fifth grade.

Mr. Wayne Morlock let me sit at the radiator by the window in 7th grade science class for the entire year because my assigned seat was next to an obnoxious boy.

Miss Olga Maruskin encouraged me to write essays for her class, and always had constructive criticism for me. When she really liked something, I felt accomplished. I still have several of the papers she gave back to me; I keep very few papers.

Mr. Bryan thought my 9th grade leaf project was so good that he asked me to hang it up in the third floor showcase of my high school .

Miss Carol Sue Clark trusted me as the orchestra treasurer to a ridiculous extent-- I remember having hundreds of dollars of  M&M money under my bed!

Miss Joan Ash thought my Latin was good enough that I should apply for the scholarship that she had gotten at the University of Cincinnati.

So as you go through your day of teaching today, remember these words of Maya Angelou: 
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


  1. Karen-
    As I get ready to reinterview for my job next week your words came at a perfect time! Thank you.

  2. That is so true! Maya Angelou was a wise woman. :)

  3. Such nice words from Ms. Angelou. I wish I had your memory... I do remember in high school, I had a Latin teacher who would walk into class in his motorcycle gear, and had this roaring laugh. He made such an impression, I made him Agent Black in the Double Vision trilogy.

    Teachers have such an important role. Nice post to remember that.

  4. Thank you for the reminder, I will never forget how I felt when reading in a clawfoot tub.

  5. Lovely post! Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Enjoyed this post. Nice memories of your teachers and I love the quote of Ms. Angelou.