Throwback Thursday

I am linking up with Randi over at The Teaching Tribune for Throwback Thursday.

I am currently teaching First Grade and here are a couple of photos of me in First Grade. They are photos of photo, because I grew up in the days of 'real cameras'.  The first was taken on a special day celebrating eduction. Parents had been invited into 'open classrooms' to see our work. I am standing in front of my desk - and that my friends, is my winter school uniform. Must have been a cold day, cause I have my skivvy (long sleeve, roll necked top) on! 

It is also a photo from around the time I first knew I wanted to be a teacher. I feel very blessed that I had 13 years of amazing school teachers. 

As a teacher now, looking back, I often ask myself, were they really all perfect? Probably not. But at the time, I thought they were. I thank my parents and their attitude towards school, education and teachers, for that. I never once heard my parents whinge or complain about my school, teachers or their expectations. It was a total, 100% unquestioned, 'given' that teachers were respected in my home. Perhaps that is why I only ever saw the good they did and took it all so seriously. 

It is no coincidence that I have so many fond memories of First Grade. This teacher went the extra mile to make learning fun, engaging and most-importantly for me, visual. A lot of what we learnt was  integrated with 'craft' or art, and displayed in the classroom - not just on the wall, but hanging from the ceiling and on interest tables.

It was this teacher that also sparked my initial interest in a good quality worksheet. The school had just got their first photocopier, and the purple 'stencils' were no more. Special worksheets were made for students struggling with letters of the alphabet as 'extra' homework. I wanted one badly. I remember pretending to form my letters the wrong way one day so I could take home a worksheet! 

Looking back, I think she saw straight through me. 

I remember so much more from this class - the little levelled readers that we started taking home to read, and contact-covered empty cans we used for pencil 'tins', wooden 'rods' to learn number concepts, my first 'spelling list' and Mr Pea Mooney (a puppet used for language and communication lessons). He came out of his box to help the teacher with lessons and activities. One sad Monday we were told that he was not coming to our lessons anymore. A 'baddie' had broken into the school on the weekend, stolen him, made a fire and burned him. 

Let me tell you, we were all in shock and that story haunted us all for years!

I remember silly things from that year, like when I got a splinter in my bottom during PE. We had been asked to slide along an old timber bench seat. At the time I had no idea why my bottom was in so much pain. I will forever remember standing in the staff room, pants down as 3 teachers peered, inspected and debated about why I kept holding my bottom and crying uncontrollably. 

I also remember tasting glue for the first time. Glue sticks had just been invented. Seriously. 

It was quite the topic of discussion at our table for quite a few weeks. I remember chatting away to two of my very social friends and we were discussing what 'non toxic' meant. "It means that you can eat it and you won't die" I proudly told them. So we tried some. 

I also remember red pencils, and how insanely valuable they were.

I remember the van that pulled up once a month or so, into the school yard, filled with fabulous teacher resources - stickers, stamps, books and fun stuff! I remember my teacher wearing stilettos and the clip-clop sound they made as she walked through the yard.

I remember sitting in the blazing hot sun without any shade. I remember making daisy chains and looking for four leaf clovers. I remember wonderful days with my friends. 

Those were the days. 

Head over to TTT for more 'Throwback Thursday' posts! Thanks so much for stopping by!