Sunday, April 29, 2007

My favorite teacher

Jasia wants Carnival posts, so here is mine about School Days.

I honestly cannot identify a favorite teacher or mentor from my grade school, high school or college days. I seemed to glide through my classes. My problems were in the social arena, not the academic arena.

My best teacher and my favorite teacher is the woman I married - Angel Linda. She taught me many things about love, forgiveness, acceptance, joy, and "doing the right thing" every time during our courtship and married life.

Linda has always been a teacher, from the time she was a young girl, and continues to this day. Her brother was her first student (and won't he love this!). After she graduated from San Francisco State in 1964, she taught 6th grade in Clarksburg CA, just south of Sacramento. Then she moved to Coronado CA in the San Diego area hoping "to meet a Navy man." Linda taught 4th and 5th grade in Coronado until early 1974, her classes were mainly children of Naval officers, and the school was excellent in academics.

Along the way, in 1968 she ran into a non-Navy left-handed aerospace engineer. It took him over a year to ask her for a date, but then it took only 6 months to get married after that! She was a great teacher and he enjoyed the lessons. Always.

After we were married for 4 years, our two girls were born and Linda stopped teaching in Coronado and started nurturing and teaching our little darlings. When they entered school, she volunteered in the classroom to help their teachers. By the time they were both out of grade school, Linda decided to start substitute teaching and soon became a 4th grade teacher in Chula Vista. This was in a gang area of town, and the students were difficult to discipline and teach. Her first two principals were very supportive, but the last one wasn't. She disliked the paperwork and unreasonable control, so in 2002 she retired from teaching rather than fight the bureaucracy.

Throughout her teaching career, Linda had marvelous classroom control, teacher instincts, and mastery of the curriculum. Reading, spelling and arithmetic were her mainstays. Her classes went on several field trips each year, often to cultural exhibits in Balboa Park (where the students behaved wonderfully - funny how that happens when you take them out of the home environment). We still have contact with several of her students and fellow teachers - usually every week a former student greets her out in the community.

Her teaching energies are now devoted to reading to pre-schoolers at the Library twice a month, teaching Sunday School once a month, and reading to and loving her three grandchildren every chance she gets. And she still has an older male student to teach.

I'm a lucky guy - I've become a good student as a result of this favorite teacher of mine, and I think I've taught her a bit over the years also. She will travel to see family and friends, but she won't do genealogy research. It works out pretty well!

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