Funny how you can remember certain moments in your childhood just like they were yesterday. I remember my entire Fourth Grade year at Pinewood Park Elementary in Longview, Texas. In my mind, I can see the classroom on the first day of school and my name in cursive on my desk.
I know who sat beside me (Jimmy) and who was in my reading group. I still know my friends and what has happened in their lives…Kathy, Barbara, Grace Anne, Georgia and so many more…some in my class and some in another class. I can still see my mother helping at the Halloween party and the ghost cookies that she made. I remember that I got to help put up the flag every day. I still know how to fold the flag and the rules to follow. I remember so very much.
My teacher was fun. My teacher told us how much we meant to her. My teacher made us feel smart and wise beyond our years. She called us her SHINING STARS. We believed her and she believed in us.
My teacher was the important catalyst and the catapult that pushed us on to be what we needed to be…at that time and later on in life. I am thinking that all children truly deserve a teacher who loves teaching and truly loves children. When I began teaching school, I thought about my Fourth Grade teacher, but I was teaching the little ones in Kindergarten. Still…I decided how to teach by following her example. Later, I taught Third Grade and I started seriously thinking about my Fourth Grade teacher.
And then…I had the opportunity to teach Fourth Grade. On the first day of school…I knew what my teacher was able to achieve. She gave a class of talkative Fourth Graders a real idea of what school could be like…what education meant. She told us that she believed in us…she told us that we were her stars…she told us that we could be anything that we wanted to be.
Thank you, Mrs. Pruitt for teaching me how to teach…long before I even thought about teaching school. You taught me that a child could learn and have fun at the same time.
I remembered that you let us paint at easels when we finished our work. I still have one of my paintings. The painting that I saved is the reason why I asked for an easel for my own Fourth Graders. Guess what! Your teaching method still works!