In first grade, I had a really . . . well, disappointing teacher. (First grade was my first experience with school, by the way; my school district didn't have kindergarten when I was a child.) Her name was Mrs. Wolters, and she was both "old" AND old-school. She was overly focused on hygiene, neatness, and adamant about not-talking-with-your-neighbor. She had no sense of humor or fun -- which, really, seem like requirements for first grade teachers, don't you think?
I felt cheated.
And I wanted BETTER in second grade.
There were 3 sections of each grade in my elementary school. And two of the second grade teachers were young and energetic and 1960s-cool - with their bubble hair-dos and shorter skirts and everything. And, well . . . then there was Mrs. Boline. "Old" and "scary-looking." I DEFINITELY didn't want Mrs. Boline! She looked worse than humorless Mrs. Wolters. And the stories the third graders told? Oh, shudder. I did NOT want to be in Mrs. Boline's class.
When the class lists went up for second grade?
You guessed it.
Who turned out to be the kindest, most patient, perfect-for-me teacher ever.
Oh, Mrs. Boline.
I loved you so!
And I still remember the things you taught me . . .
Be kind to everyone.
Trying your best is the Most Important Thing.
Don't laugh at others' expense.
We are all good at something.
Make sure to get a drink of water after recess.
Crying does not mean you're a baby -- it just means you're feeling strong feelings.
Sometimes the world is a scary place, but if we're kind to each other everything will be okay.
Make sure your handwriting is legible.
Thanks, Mrs. Boline! You were THE BEST!
(Did you find me in the class photo? Bottom row, 2nd from right. My mom was really proud of that up-do . . . painstakingly created just for Picture Day!)