Your Smile On Fire

...from the song Xavia

teacherly post

Something happened to me between the time I started school, way back in 1995, and now. And I think it was more than getting taller or learning math. Someone must have stole the time because some days I would swear it was just yesterday that I was sitting next to Kelsey in Mrs. Reinhold's classroom, envying the neat and perfect way her art projects turned out - nothing like mine, my sloppy messes.

I think I've begun to grow up. Although the many stuffed animals staring at me from inside my closet beg to differ.


And what with going to college and taking my child development class and seeing how much our early years affect the rest of our lives, I can't help but think that a lot of the reason for who I am now and who I am going to become has to do with the teachers I had. Teachers I want to write to and say, depending on when I knew them, hey, remember me? I missed a truckload of days in your class and it's possible you didn't even notice when I was there because I was so quiet? Well I'm doing good. And I got an essay published. And I'm going to college. And I'm not really that little girl I was before but I still feel like that girl most of the time.

Teachers I'd like to thank?

  • Mrs. Reinhold. She was my kindergarten teacher, with the sing-song voice. What I remember of her class is the Lollipop Dragon, Letter People, Zero the Hero, being absent the day Smokey the Bear came in, Jameson, Kelsey, Emily, Lacey calling me while I was in the hospital, Sterling saying he didn't know how to pray. Rainbow Fish, falling off the swings backwards and having Jameson run to tell the teacher then everyone being surprised when I was fine. Going to the hospital on Emily's Special Day, being in the hospital a lot.
  • Miss Perry. Second grade. I remember Nishi telling me, day after day, that I had a boy's name. I remember Afrin and Travis and both of the Chris'. I remember tornado drills because that was the year I lived in Texas, not knowing how to do division when everyone else did, writing lots of stories and winning the award at the end of the year, Tops in Writing Stories. I wonder, when teachers give out those silly little awards that really mean nothing, if they actually think they matter or if they just like to make kids feel happy and special. I don't think I was good at writing stories in second grade because all my stories basically sucked, but I did write more of them than anyone else in the class.
  • Mr. Petersen. Fourth grade. This was the teacher who hung wooden airplanes from the ceiling and maybe that was the first reason I thought I would like that class. I remember Alex, Zach, Horizons, lots of girls who were nice to me and a few who weren't. I remember sitting on the steps outside reading during recess and Jessica and Brandy calling me "Toothpick", asking me if I ever ate. I remember reading The Whipping Boy and thinking it wasn't as good as everyone made it sound. I remember Mr. Petersen making math and science fun, somehow, so for the rest of school I kind of actually learned to like parts of it more than I would have.
  • Mr. Shutte. Horizons. I remember so much from this class, but mostly being goofy and crazy and incredibly truly geeky and loving every second of it. I remember doing those matrix things and watering the plants in the greenhouse and learning about Egypt, the solar system, wildlife. Learning so much more than I did in regular classes. Also I remember being in the hospital during sixth grade and Mr. Shutte giving me a bunch of the matrix worksheets to keep me busy, if I felt like doing them. Which I did. Because they were fun.
  • Mr. Graves. Seventh grade math. He was the teacher who always asked what book I was reading.
  • Mrs. Mosely. Jr. high journalism. We actually talked about stuff in this class, debating abortion and homosexuality and current events and other things you didn't talk about the rest of the time in school.
  • Mrs. Peterson. Acadec, English. I remember show don't tell, failing my paper the first three times I wrote it, coming home and crying the first time I got one of her papers back. Then learning that I wasn't the first student she'd made cry. I remember loving her class, learning about poetry when I'd never liked it before because there was no one to explain it to me, studying Greek philosophers and old literature and learning about the Holocaust. I remember feeling sorry, at the end of the year, that I wouldn't get to take her AP English class in eleventh grade.
  • Mr. Whatshisface. I don't remember his name but he was my Social Studies teacher Freshman year and he had us all watch Dr. Zhivago then write two essays on it. I wish I still had mine. I really hated the movie but I really liked writing about it and getting to explain why I hated it. I'm always the worst at Social Studies and this class was no different, but my teacher seemed to sense that I wasn't as dumb as my grades showed.

So. There. My list and there's probably more but these were the real big ones I remember.



beccam said:

hmm. I'm definitely going to do this later when I'm not so swamped with work.

April 9, 2008 11:20 AM

jordynt said:

Ha my mom actually read it and contacted my old schools to fax this to them. ;)

April 9, 2008 6:14 PM

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May 21, 2013 6:25 AM

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May 22, 2013 11:50 AM


Oct. 15 [going to work soon] [two school essays due; majorly nervous about both] [remember when i wrote that short story where the girl said "majorly" every other WORD practically? ha]