Day 22 (of 185) World Teacher Day – who do I remember?
Inspired by: https://cultureofyes.ca/2016/10/05/how-many-can-you-name/
Kindergarten (Sparwood) with Ms White (I remember song time and feeling bad for an anxiety attack of a girl on circle time who wet herself – no shaming or highlighting, but an apology that she didn’t make it clear that if a student needs to go bathroom, they get to go). Then my dad got a new job. And we moved…
Grade 1 with Ms Dempster (first crush with a girl who sat in the far row and most significant anxious moment when walking to school and heard the bell, and figured it would be easier to walk home and make up a reason than walk in late – teacher made it clear that students always welcome and she would only be “mad” if it happened every day)
Grade 2 with Mrs Gillvier (fight-a-day between two frenemies……nowadays both would probably have earned a CEA…or at least one in the class…..but teacher modelled that all learners welcome every day…..every. day.
Grade 3 with Ms Money (Ms Meany as a few of us called her – the first time I was involved in a “re-organization” where classes changed up after a month into the year.
Grade 4 with Mr Oakes (and an amazing animal system in the back of the room that led to my first aquarium. Relationships and getting outside were so important….everyone looked forward to the annual “Red Rock hike” as well as the intermediate “short courses” a signup race for two events ranging from baseball to [believe it or not] rifle awareness via the RCMP and yes, we went to the range to shoot 22s)
Grade 5 with Mrs Schmidt (almost everyone was scared to death to enter her room in September and sad to leave it in June – highlight included a “day in a single-room schoolhouse” where we re-imagined frontier life….albeit we didn’t discuss residential schools….)
Grade 6 with Mr Koebel (who I was thrilled to meet at a BCPVPA conference a couple years ago. A master of relationship building who shared that he ‘got better’ when my dad joined the elementary school as principal and pushed a more personalized learning experience….with technology. This was also my first “tech project” – a menu that was made on our Apple IIe and finally removed “messy” from my ongoing feedback loop….)
Grade 7 with Ms Treichel (a brand new student teacher, and daughter of the principal at the “other” school. My last year with “reading groups based on ability to use a reader” and “spelling lists”. We actually got to try some new concepts that were in the “project based learning” realm)
I find it interesting that because of the year-long time with elementary teachers, their names/subject are pretty clear (I even remember our French teacher [aka prep time] Ms Albertson and that Mr Sanghera was where the kids who struggled with class work went to see) but the evolution to secondary is a tad more dis-jointed….and weirdly I remember some teachers who didn’t teach me more than others that stood in front of the class….
Grade 8: English – Mr Spencer Math. Science. Socials. Art – Mr Carter – very influential as he also held a games club at lunch. Drama. PE. French – was same as socials and I met him again later….when he was out of teaching….by his choice….. Typing….shop (wood and metals) – I can mentally picture some….but not all… also the year we missed a couple weeks because we were moving into a new school….but it wasn’t ready when it was supposed to be…
Also the one year of “streaming” 4 divisions of 30 students (8a 8b 8c 8d <– guess what we students said the letters meant….)
Grade 9: English -Mr Spencer but mainly a student teacher who we felt had a much closer relationship to the girls in our room than the boys….. Math – Mr Law. Science. Socials. Art – Mr Carter. PE. French. Electives? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLTZv2NFkLI
Grade 10: English (dad had me do this by correspondence in the summer to have a spare in grade 10 – don’t think the secondary world was happy with this as I had to stay in the English classroom during this time). Math – Mr Law. Science. Socials with Mr Jastrebzki who also taught us the dreaded Consumer Education 10. PE. French.
Grade 11: English with Mr Dickinson (great story teller). Algebra – Mr Ho. Socials – Mr deLong. Biology. Chemistry with a neat lady whose only weakness was using multiple choice tests – and a friend literally used a D4 to get over 60%….shocked all of us….and remains a key memory of mine while thinking about “finals”. Physics (dropped after a month, but did end up submitting a little “thought/wonder” to the UBC Physics department that did get a response) Computers – Mr Beland who had been one of the first teachers my dad sent an e-message to like in the movie WarGames. French…..ooh the year we drove one teacher out of the profession….well a second left mid-year to take advantage of an opportunity in Dease Lake….there may have been a couple others who opted to work elsewhere because of “that cohort”. I should also let it be known that we were very loyal to those we perceived had “it” – we could’ve torn apart our biology teacher because of his notes on the clear roller…..but what we did “outside of note taking time” made us think he had potential and he did very well in the years after we graduated.
Grade 12: English – Mr Dickinson – wrote three published books. History – Ms Gowan. Comparative Civilizations (took this as an independent study during my spare as the block was the same time as history) – Mr J. Computers – Mr Beland . Accounting 11 (wasn’t allowed too many spares even though I had enough grad credits). Geography Mr Kennedy and the Joffrey glacier hike (and related shenanigans….) Algebra Mr Ho …..and our third principal in the five years I was there (my dad spent 7 years there then went to elementary when I went to grade 8 – and the longest anyone lasted for awhile was 2 years…..)
The years blend together and it was nice to have some consistency in a small school mixed with a regular in/out of new teachers ( a trend which continues today….decades later). I know that as I hire teachers I always like it when a teacher has gone to an “out of the way” community and I know how that can be both as a student and as an educator who spent time in my old schools (for too short a time) on my teacher-journey.
Thank you to all teachers on World Teachers Day. With changes going on in all systems as we know more about learning (and in other areas like neuroscience and self regulation) than ever before, it is possibly the most exciting time to be part of education since the public school concept was first being explored!