Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.
The Life Of A Third-Grade Teacher.
Now I Ask You To Not
read this piece and let shock get the best of you. Yes, my accounts are from the year that I spent in first-grade, and as I recall, "this" was THE year that helped to shape me and my friends to begin growing into progressive adults. Eventually, and with a lot of sweat, work, and pressure, we made it and were blessed to graduate high school in May 1972.
I cannot help, times, looking back over those first six years of what used to be Grade School and I wish that I had studied more than I did, but from 1961 through 1966, a “D” was a passing grade. Unfortunately, today this is not the case. My three grand-kids even as smart as they are, have to really work in order to pass each grade. No. Thank God, the three have never failed. I am not boasting, just telling the Gospel Truth.
I guess that you are wondering when I am going to unload yet another piece that deals with my Grade School adventures. Oh, I had lots of help when we did conceive those projects that are NOT to get us in any trouble. That’s the trouble even at our young ages, when mortal man (kids) meet with that everlasting foe: Illegal. This spirit can cause many of a strong man to crumble to his knees. Not to leave the women folk out, but this spirit can also cause a strong-willed woman to reach that point of screaming her lungs out because she has been found out by some law somewhere.
To Continue My Honest Look
at my time in Grade school, I can tell you that I DID enjoy a lot of things during these six years as well as one or two of my six different teachers. Speaking bluntly, the majority of my six Grade School teachers were old enough to live on their pension plus their Social Security, so even we at an early age asked, “Why are you even working?” The teachers would laugh, then get us to talking about different subjects.
Now, I have to tell you that in my case, Grade School was NOT my most creative time of life. The School System that designed the curriculum gave our teachers an iron-clad set of educational rules to be followed and none of us were allowed to stray from their rules. Now you or I, were never denied the means of Creativity in order to help our imaginations grow, but as long as it was THE School System’s definition of Creativity, that was approved with a green light. Case in point, none of us in our class ever said, wrote, or even quoted anything that dealt with Creativity.
Talk about a boring school and school year. Every day was identical as the day before. We arrived at 7:45 a.m., our teacher, the now late Mrs. Ann Wade, led us in morning devotional and The Pledge of Allegiance, (both are now not allowed), then we were told to take out our spelling books and turn to so and so page and Wade went by each student row by row until our lesson was over. Then came Morning Break at 9:45 a.m.--this was on my “I Like List,” because those of us who had money, were allowed to march to our Lunch Cafeteria and select (a) delicious treat such as: a popsicle, those with two sticks; Push-up’s with orange ice cream; ice cream sandwiches or a small box of chocolate milk. In short, a kid with a dime was considered “Uptown” in our eyes.
At 11 a.m., Recess with games like Dodge Ball, Baseball, and some of the guys got-up a game of Football. Then some of the girls and boys played Chase and Hide ‘N Go Seek and just when we had really got involved in our games, Wade signaled for us to come inside and do more work. I would have to confess that Morning Break and Recess, were definitely on the “I Like List.” So you see, not every kid in Grammar School had it rough. Everyone (in my class) can tell you that our playground was something special. The grass was never too slick to run-out for a pass on football games and there was never too much dust for those who played baseball.
After Recess was more school work with the usual subjects that to us, were nothing but boring. Some of our friends, me included, fought to stay awake due to the lectures about History, Health and Learning To Write. 12 Noon came and that meant Lunch which was a sometimes-yes, sometimes-sick condition after Lunch. So I had to put “Lunch” in a Half of a Point in my “I Like List.”
The “I Like List” Grows
bigger when I tell you about the in-classroom activities which most did qualify for my “I Like List.” Some you will not believe, and some you will. There were things such as . . .
- Getting to talk to Barbara Broome, a pretty girl with natural brunette hair. Need I go further?
- Enjoying a good game of “Classroom War” with one side of the room playing as the North and the other as the South and using paper clips, spitballs (big ones), pencils, almost anything in reach was huge fun. We always had wars with Mrs. Wade having to visit our school principal to meet her for more School Board ideas.
- Playing with Mrs. Wade’s huge supply of Play-Doh, which she kept inside her desk where her shoes belonged. When she and the students (who could afford it) got to attend the usual Snake and Reptile Shows; Magician Shows; and a yearly-lecture from the sheriff of Marion County where showed us a film about “Teens and Early Crime,” which was out of the 1950’s. We laughed, but Mrs. Wade never got wise to it. Yes, my “I Like List,” grew bigger as the years went by.
- The days came when Mrs. Wade allowed us to draw (with white chalk) on the two big blackboards. She even gave the okay to let us draw anything we wanted, so most of us drrew jets, tanks, trees, football players and eagles in flight. This item was near the top on of my “I Like List.” This could have held down first place if I had lobbied for it.
- (Probably the best item on “I Like List,”: Mrs. Wade would call two different students every two days to take all of the erasers to go outside and beat them on the sidewalk to rid the erasers of chalk build-up. (This) one was an item om my list alone, but the one you are going to read, my final item was . . .
- As I got to help one of our pretty girl students beat the erasers, I suggested (to the pretty girl), that we take our time, and you can guess why. It was a great opportunity to get to talk to the pretty girl and share what I liked and didn’t like. This talks helped me in my early life as a Grade School Student, to make valuable points with the pretty girls who were in my class.
And, one of these days may come when I share my “Things That I Hated List” while I was in Grade School. I would share it right now, but the list if way long and I do not have the strength to write it all down.
June 21, 2019_______________________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery