I had the same teacher for second and third grade: Mrs. Lemmel. Although I never really planned to be a teacher until I was half way through my freshman year in college, I look back to those two years as my inspiration for all things elementary.
This teacher had it all. She made everything colorful and fun, she loved us. I don’t remember anything about her class that wasn’t dynamic or interactive. She wore colored tights under her shorts as was oh-so popular in the early nineties. She wrote our report cards in colored, rainbow-order Sharpie markers. We had a tree the size of Texas made out of butcher paper in our jungle classroom. I did the coolest project ever on Zaire, which was actually a country then, and the ocelot who no one even knows exists besides me. She let us do plays and hold boa constrictors. She had perfect handwriting and understood the value of cute fonts and learning words in Swahili.
Yes, those were the good old days. As an elementary school teacher myself now, I often reflect upon what Mrs. Lemmel taught me. While I don’t remember ever ”learning” or doing math or anything that I stress over now as a teacher, I remember how she made me feel. I remember that I LOVED school when I was in her class and I tried then, and try now, to make everything as lovely and magical as she did.
Submitted by Denae Love, Mrs. Lemmel student at Lake Wilderness Elementary in 1993.