A couple weeks ago my mom had her entire kindergarten class over for a class party. The children ran around the yard, ate food and played T-ball.
Sophie played with a baseball, hung out with Grandpa and rested on the big beach blanket my mom put out on the grass for her.
This was my mom’s last class before she retires. Although always my teacher, she was never my classroom teacher. But I have so many memories of her as a classroom teacher. Growing up, I loved visiting her classroom. Posters of children’s book covers pasted the walls. The bulletin boards changed with the seasons. Pretty plastic beads and children’s artwork hung from the ceiling. There was finger paint and old men’s dress shirts for use as smocks and crayons and glue and books and books and books.
Although my mom took some time off from teaching when my sister, brother and I were growing up, when she was teaching, her schedule was perfect. She was home when we were home from school—at night, on weekends, during holidays and over the summer. Sure she had lots of at-home work to do, but we loved helping her sort, paste, pick out stickers for children’s work … and little did we know how much work she did long after we went to bed, late, late at night.
The older I got, the braver I thought my mom was. When I would go to help out during class parties or after-school class functions, I would be terrified if she left the room for even a moment. It’s more difficult than you might think to control 20+ five-year-olds. But my mom always did it with such humor, patience and grace.
I’m so happy she gets to retire and this party was such a fitting way to end her last year with a class.
“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” —Carl Jung