Monday, April 2, 2012

School Days--Aunt Martha

I hope that School Days will be a reoccurring feature in which I ask people about their early memories of school. Everyone has a story to tell about this and I hope to give them a voice here. 

Here is Today's Story

Aunt Martha started school in first grade in 1960. She went to a school that had grades 1-8 in a small town in West Virginia. The class size was big compared to today with about 40+ kids in her first grade class.

Tell me about starting school or an early memory of school.

I remember the desks were in long rows and Shelley sat in front of me in first grade. One day Shelley was turned around talking to me and our teacher, Miss Stemple, put her hands on Shelley's shoulders and turned her around. Shelley has been my best friend ever since we met in first grade.

I was in Miss Stemple's room, but I wanted to be in Miss Dawson's room. Miss Dawson always had lots of animals in her room. One day she sent home praying mantises with her kids in milk cartons. The praying mantises had been born in her classroom.

We had a star chart in the front of the classroom that we got stars for doing our work. In the back of the classroom were hooks behind a petition where we hung our coats and put our lunches.

I liked recess best. I liked the merry-go-round that you had to push to get going and then jump on. I'm surprised that I liked it because I am so prone to motion sickness. We also had hand walkers and I would get blisters on my hands if I used it a lot. We had a jungle gym and another piece of equipment that was three bars of different heights. They both had blacktop under them. We had a teeter-totter and we played games of bouncing people up in the air and sometimes jumping off. Also, we would weigh down one end with several kids and saw how far the kid on the other end had to move up to balance us. I guess we were doing early physics lessons.

After recess in first and second grade, our teachers read to us. We could put our head down on the desk if we wanted. They read the Box Car Children and Old Mother West Wind Stories to us. I liked the animal stories of Old Mother West Wind.

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