04 September 2013

School Days! School Days! Good Old Fashioned School Days!

It is that time of the year again when students and teachers are going back to school.  My husband, Kirk, a middle school counselor is back to school (insert smile!) and I am back to a routine of sorts.  I like my routines.

One of the routines I enjoy is blogging.  In honor of back to school week I am sharing my first grade remembrances.

I have a lot of memories from first grade at Deckerville Elementary School.  My teacher, Mrs. Merriman, was one of my favorite teachers.  She recently passed away, but I will always remember her as a very kind and caring teacher.

I remember walking to school and entering the building my classroom was in.  There were only four classrooms in that part of the school, two Kindergarten and two first grade ones.  My room was on the right side of the hallway, overlooking the playground.  We sat in tables of six.  I remember being the last table furthest from the front of the room and then the second table in the middle of the classroom.  I believe there were six tables total.

We kept our books in our space under the table.  I remember that area getting really messy.  We had desk cleaning days!  In the summer before school started, we would go to the gymnasium and buy our books.  I enjoyed reading, spelling and geography.  I wasn't a fan of math.

One day, I copied some math answers from the girl next to me, Sandra.  Mrs. Merriman called her up to the teacher's desk and asked her what she was doing. Sandra said she shared her answers with me.  Next thing I knew Sandra was getting her hand slapped with a paddle, it was one of those that you used to hit a small rubber ball with.  I felt terrible!  I apologized to Sandra when she came back to the table.  I remember her being really nice about it.  Next, I got up from the table and went to Mrs. Merriman and told her I was the one who copied the answers.  She said it was Sandra's fault for letting me do it.  To this day, I don't agree with that, I should have had my hand slapped too.  I think that experience was always in my mind and shaped who I was as a teacher, never blaming one student over another.

We spent a lot of time at those tables.  I remember eating lunch at our tables.  I don't remember if they had a cafeteria or not.  If they did it was not in our building. We would have to walk outside and to the next building for gym and art class. Eventually, they connected the buildings.

Another memory I have is sitting in class and seeing these red spots all over my arms.  I told the teacher about it and she said it was okay, not to worry about it. The spots had spread by the time I got home.  I had the measles.  It seems like I missed a few days of school during first grade.  I know I had the measles and mumps that year.

My first grade year was the year that President Kennedy was shot.  I don't remember being aware of anything at school, but we did get the day of his funeral off.  I remember my parents watching it on TV and I wasn't allowed to watch it.  Of course, that made me curious and I would catch glimpses of it as I walked by the living room.  Weekly Reader covered President Kennedy's death and I remember reading about it later.

I find it interesting the things I remember about first grade.  I don't remember much about recess, or music, or even who my friends were in my class.  I have very clear memories of a few events. How about you?  Do you remember first grade?


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