Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mommy's Good Old Days - 1st Grade

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.


Ginny Marie said...

Oh, that's so sad that you had such a bad experience in first grade! That should have been the best year of your time in school! Shame on Miss Broom.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

So sorry...these are the stories I wish new teachers would read, because I don't think you learn in college how you affect your students, for good or bad...but than again as a parent I need to remember that also. Glad you made it through to tell the story,

Gretchen said...

SAAAAAAAAAAD! What a mean teacher! Oh, let's not encourage discovery!!! Yikes.

HAHA!! You cracked me up -- the nose pickers were the lepers!!

Mom2three said...

Okay, just her name sounds ominous! It's a shame your first day was tarnished with her sour nature, but the class lepers was too much! Loved that!

gianna said...

Okay, so I guess you just need to look on the bright side of your sad 1st grade experience. You were NOT a nose-picker! So your teacher had one good thing to say about you!

Janna said...

As sad as these stories are it is such a powerful lesson in what NOT to do. I'm sure you are a more thoughtful parent b/c of how hurtful her behavior was.

Such tender hearts! We have to be ever mindful.

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Aw, you reminded me of when my own flawless reputation was tarnished. I was in third grade and the girl behind me was talking to her friend. My teacher thought *I* was talking. Unfortunately, it must have been a bad day for my teacher because instead of giving a warning like he normally would have, he immediately dropped a detention on me (and not just the disappointing-but-non-parent-alerting-miss-your-recess detention, but an after-school detention with the neon yellow paper that goes home to be signed). I was mortified, but did not want to speak up and tell him that he was wrong in his assignment of guilt. So I served the detention (telling my parents the truth), and I was pleased to find out that DETENTIONS (said in a scary voice) were not as dreadful as I had imagined them to be. In fact, I got to wipe the chalkboard clean and clap the erasers outside (a job coveted by many in my class), and my teacher and I listened to music together while I cleaned. So overall, it was a bittersweet experience. Unlike yours. Too bad your birthday or Christmas couldn't outshine the school-year!

Jeannette said...

Aw, I'm so sorry, Donette! I'm sure she didn't mean for that to affect you so! My first experience with CBA was with that same theacher, though. I visited as an adult, deciding whether or not I wished to pursue a teaching position there. I visited that particular classroom - and was never going to return! My then-husband convinced me to reconsider, for which I am grateful! Guess we both lived through it, eh? It still makes me sad to think I missed having you in my class!

Jenni said...

LOL! That story made me laugh! Isn't it hilarious what we remember? I had a similar first day of 1st grade with a very strict teacher! When Mrs. Birnschein asked a question to the class, I forgot to raise my hand, in my excitement to answer. She reprimanded me, and put my name on the board with the dreaded "mark" for everyone to see. I was so embarrassed, and when my dad picked me up after school, I tried to hide the truth from him, but the tears couldn't be kept at bay! Good thing he thought it was rather funny, and he did his best to comfort me.

In the grand scheme of things, it hasn't scarred my life, but I do think the teacher over-reacted, and she definitely squashed my excitement to be in school for awhile!