The theme for this week’s Motif Monday is a favorite teacher. There were lots of teachers that I liked, and several who influenced my life. But my favorite teacher of all was Miss C.
Third grade was almost 30 years ago for me, but there are things I remember like it was yesterday. Learning to write in cursive, multiplication tables, and throwing up peaches all over the bathroom floor at school. Don’t ask me why I remember the peaches—I have no idea. But I digress . . . .
When we were learning the multiplication tables, Miss C. would do things or make up things to help us remember. One day, she climbed up and stood atop her desk. Then she yelled at the top of her lungs: “Seven times eight is fifty-six!!!” She said that was always the most difficult one for her to remember, and she wanted to make sure we never forgot.
Even though we were old enough to read on our own, we had story time a few times a week. Miss C. read us lots of great stories. Where the Red Fern Grows and Snow Treasure are two that I specifically remember, and there were many more. She was probably the one who got me hooked on reading.
But most of the things I remember about that year didn’t have anything to do with the three R’s. Miss C. kept a jar on her desk, and when we did something good, she’d put a marshmallow in it. When the jar was full of dried out old marshmallows, we’d get a special reward. I don’t remember now what any of the rewards were, but they were probably things like extra reading time or some other activity that we enjoyed.
Every Friday afternoon she’d stand at the door as we left. We had to get our “Friday hugs” before we could go home for the weekend. She’d give each of us a big bear hug on our way out the door, and I think it was one of the most important things she did. For some kids, it was probably the only hug they got all week.
I loved Miss C. because she always made me feel like I was special. Even years later, she remembered details about me, and she was interested in what I was doing.
When she died 18 months ago from a brain tumor (she was only 50), I collected memories from my classmates to send to her family. It seems she made us all feel special. No wonder she was so good at what she did.