Okay, true confessions. The reason I am writing this blog is more than sharing ideas about my classroom, although I really do have some pretty nifty ideas I can’t wait to share with you. Also it’s true that having you here, gentle reader, is a beautiful “perk” to writing these heartfelt posts. And quite honestly, I only myself discovered the real reason I was writing this blog when someone ask me about it.
My grandmother was a teacher through her whole working life. Now, I loved playing school as much as the next person, but not as much as I loved the freedom of exploring the wide-open spaces of the farm where I grew up. So when my grandmother’s friends would ask me if I was going to be a teacher someday, I quickly shook my head. Classroom teachers don’t get to see the waves of wheat rippling in the field, or the sun peeking through the canopy of leaves in the woods (or so I thought).
To her credit, Grandma never pressured me to follow in her footsteps. In fact, she rarely talked about her job in front of me. Of course, I was only a child. I didn’t realize how special she was, having started her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse at the young age of 17 years old. Back then, teachers didn’t just teach students, they taught several families of siblings all at one time. But when she retired, she was teaching a in a regular second grade classroom at a modern public school. Me? I had just graduated high school when I was 17 years old, certainly not mature enough to handle a classroom of my own. Sadly, grandma had died just a few months before my graduation. I always regret I never took the time to learn about teaching from her.
Soon I will be the one retiring from teaching in a second grade classroom at a “modern public school.” How many times I’ve wished I would’ve sat and talked with her about our shared careers! Mine took a while longer (about 17 years after high school, in fact), because I started as a first grade teacher only after my last child, Xander, entered first grade. My grandma? She had my father start first grade a year early because she had to take him to school with her. Ah, mystic family connections spanning the generations. What do you think? Weird “cool,” or just weird?
I know you must have your own “educational” family tree. I would love to hear about it. Maybe it goes back through generations of family, or generations of great teachers. It could be YOU are the inspiration at the top of a long line of teachers yet to come. For whatever time you have spent teaching others, in whatever capacity, I celebrate you!
…So now I’m wondering, will my own grandchildren ever go into the field of education and want to know what it was like to teach before there were computers in every classroom? Before there was even (gasp!) a telephone in every classroom? Probably not, but if they do, I’m going to try to have at least a micro-sampling of it served up in some pretty Classy Conclusions.