Mrs. Rogers taught me how to read. She taught me a love of school and learning. I loved going to her class, because she was part like a grandmother, and part like a friend. She was nurturing and caring, friendly and fun, but also made sure we took care of business. I know that the first years of my education helped shape the person I was to become… a teacher.
I have always found joy in being with and helping young children. I have also had many wonderful and influential teachers during my elementary, primary, high school, and college years, and the first teacher to truly inspire me to become a teacher myself was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Laue.
Mrs. Laue was always excited to be at school. She taught us addition and subtraction using a real checkbook and introduced me to the fun, exciting world books can provide us.
I first decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I was in kindergarten in Mrs. Allen’s class, and I never changed my mind.
She was truly inspiring. She used to give us a shiny penny when she caught us doing a very good job in class. At the end of the day we could put the penny in the buble gum machine! She made learning exciting every day.
Mrs. Peer was my fifth grade teacher in a very small public school in northern New Hampshire. Everyone knew everyone else, and my grade was infamously well known.
Mrs. Peer treated us with respect. She challenged us. She pushed us to be better students. Most importantly, she read aloud to us.
One of the books she read aloud, Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian, is the first chapter book I remember re-reading over and over again. I had struggled with reading as a young child, and Mrs. Peer helped me learn to love stories. I read more, and my reading improved.
Mr. Hocker was the fifth-grade teacher everybody wanted. He was the coolest man to walk the planet. He was excited to be there each day and made us excited, too.
I am currently 4 feet 10 inches tall, so I am, and always have been, really short. We got new desks that year in his class. I recall my feet dangling and feeling totally engulf by this desk. He took me around the whole school searching for a desk to fit me personally. We found it on the kindergarten hallway. It was old and wooden, but it was just for me.
Mrs. Boughton created a classroom where every child felt secure and loved. We actually envied the girl who had been retained! Learning multiplication facts was joyous, and I began to read every book in our library. She taught me to love learning for the sake of learning! I wish she was still alive so I could thank her.
When I was in fifth grade, preparing to enter middle school, Mrs. Flounders pulled me aside. She said she was putting me in ”track one” next year. But that I made it ”by the skin of my teeth.” She told me she would be watching me all year and making sure that I was working up to my potential. Mrs. Flounders taught me the importance of student-teacher connections and the value of high expectations. I bring her lessons with me each day to work!
There aren’t enough good things to can say about the woman who was my first-grade teacher and therefore my formal introduction to education. She taught me such essentials as reading, writing my name, math and more.
But more than that, Mrs. Cooper was a staple of our small, island community; by the time she was teaching me she had already taught my father, aunts, uncles and so many of the leaders in my hometown. Everyone loved her, and they still do, for her emphasis on teaching the whole student. No one left her classroom without learning what it meant to be kind, how to share, how to have good manners, how to speak respectfully to adults and to each other and so much more. She didn’t just teach us, she loved us!
Kathy Kriesel was the most amazing teacher. I had her in fourth grade. She was my first teacher when I moved to Oregon. What I liked was that Kathy made me feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom. She challenged me when needed, and always encouraged me to do my best. It was in her classroom that I realized I wanted to be a teacher myself. Years later I had the opportunity to go back and do my student teaching in her classroom. This was a wonderful experience. She taught me everything she knew about teaching. This was an amazing experience and it shaped the teacher I am today. Without Kathy, I probably would have chosen a different career field.
Many years have passed, but I will never forget Mrs. Gutstine. I was six years old, shy, and failing first grade.My mom, a former teacher, was concerned about my academic progress and lack of confidence. Mrs. Gutstine, a veteran teacher and my tutor, taught me how to read and solve math problems by giving me small prizes, playing learning games, and building my confidence by telling me I was smart.
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