This post is part 3 in a 15 week series sponsored by Mommy's Piggy Tales that encourages women to record their youth. Week three's assignment is 1st grade/6 years.
I tried in vain to come up with a cheerful story from my 1st grade year. And maybe I did have an exceptional birthday or Christmas, but alas, that year is scarred forever in my memory because I did not like my 1st grade teacher.
Her name was Miss Broom, and although I'm fairly certain she was a kind person outside of the classroom, she was VERY stern and strict as a teacher. And now, as a mature adult, I understand the necessity of strictness in a classroom, especially at the time when most kids had only 1/2 day of kindergarten and first grade was their first foray into all-day school. But nonetheless, I felt like Miss Broom was out to get me and I was often out of her favor.
It all started so innocently. It was the first day of school and we were introduced to real desks with our names printed on them, full of wonderful textbooks that were so inviting to page through. The room was decorated brightly and cheerfully, just as you would expect any elementary classroom to look. There were pictures and books and a table full of learning toys that just begged us to stare longingly at them. And that is where I had my first encounter with Miss Broom.
She had just dismissed us to line up at the door to leave for the day. I had survived, unscathed up until this point, and although I was wary of her sternness, I had yet to provoke her anger. Until, that is, I passed the table with all the learning toys on it and my eye fell to the one toy I had been staring at all day.
It was a teal green plastic microscope with gigantic, bugged out eyes on the front. This was a toy meant to be played with, it was not a technical piece of machinery. And as we lined up to leave, with strict instructions to do so quietly, I slowed my pace as I passed the table and quietly mouthed, to no one in particular, "Wow. That is so cool!"
Well, nothing got by the strict eyes of Miss Broom, and she was quick to pull me out of the line and required me to stay after school to reprimand me. I was shocked. I had never been in trouble, and certainly not on the first day of school! I withstood my scolding and was released to get my things, the hallway already eerily silent. The other students were outside getting picked up by their parents, and I had to walk, shame-faced, out of the school on my own.
My brothers were waiting for me and I confessed through tears that I had to stay back for disobeying. They didn't think it was anything to get upset over and even told me to expect it for the whole year - Miss Broom's reputation proceeded her. But it ruined my first day of school.
The year went on and I ceased to be the only child reprimanded (luckily I did not have a nose-picking problem, for they were the lepers of the class), but I always felt Miss Broom had it out for me and I had forever tarnished my up-till-now flawless reputation.