I changed the header to my blog this morning. That rag-tag bunch of kids you see are my classmates at a country school I attended from 2nd through 8th grade.
My parents had purchased their first farm, which is now my sister’s home and farm in a new community when I was eight. So, we moved from Star School to Richwoods School district.
Back, “in the day” schools were all named for the community in which they were located. Some of the ones I remember were, Star, White Oak, Trenton, Montgomery, Eagle, Richwoods, just to name a few.
These were some of my school mates at Richwoods School. I don’t remember the occasion. Maybe some of you who are in the picture might recall. I’m hiding in the back row-left, on the end. We were a rag-tag bunch, but we managed to learn in spite of ourselves.
There were eight grades in that building and one teacher taught all of us.
Can you find her? She’s itty-bitty, but man what a powerhouse she was.
Mrs. Beryl Rich, the one with the glasses in the middle.
She was the first person to inspire me to write.
We, as adults… especially teachers, can impact a child with a few words. We can humiliate, tear-down or build-up with merely a smile or frown–the nod of the head or a simple, “Good job!”
Me on left with my two best friends at Star School. Circa 1953
We can redirect a child to dig themselves out of their circumstances, give them hope that they have something to contribute to the world.
I was not an honor student. Just average, I thought.
My parents were hard-working people who cared more about my deportment that my grades. My chores came first. Then if there was time, homework. I’m not saying they didn’t care about my future, but feeding their four children and hoping for a good harvest was their priority.
I knew from an early age that I wanted to do more. I didn’t know what that more was, but Mrs. Rich inspired me. She saw something in me. I think she’s the reason I became an educator.
My Dad’s old school, Sharp’s Corner near Merrimac, Iowa.
Any teacher, if they’re honest with themselves, knows that they could have done a better job. You’re day gets long, you have deadlines and criteria to meet. You butt heads with administration or a parent. And, then there’s the faculty meeting, where you learn your district is trying a new strategy in learning.
Some new Guru has discovered, THE SECRET!
You, haven’t mastered the last one…UGH!
You say things you regret, and neglect to say things you should have. You spend more time with your students than their parents do. For some, coming to school was their refuge from a dysfunctional home.
I love seeing my former students, and I always think to myself, “Did I make a difference in their life?”
Whether they know it or not, they made a difference in mine!