Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Good Old Days

Dy/Dan is revisiting his younger self in his blog this week. That got me thinking about my days as a young teacher. I was 21 and a very long way from home when I stepped into my first classroom of thirty-nine assorted Gr. 4 students. Of all the classes I have taught these are the kids who stick in my mind most clearly. My teaching job had taken me 700 odd miles north of the 49th to a small community supported by farming and the oil patch. My classroom was housed in a little red school house which had been trucked in from the boonies to serve as my portable.
I remember it snowed on Sept. 10th and didn't stop snowing until after the Easter break. The school had its own ice rink which the fire department came and flooded in early October. Mums drove their kids to school on snowmobiles and in trucks equipped with winches.
The school had no gym and no library. We went once a week to a neighbouring school for our P.E. class. It was held in a multi-purpose room that had poles running down the centre. The kids had to keep their eyes open.
I remember my first parent/teacher interviews when one of the mothers asked me if I thought she was doing a good job of parenting and wanted to know how she could improve. Can't remember what I said except to tell she was doing fine.
I remember taking the kids on field trips to the art gallery and the pool all on our bicycles. I remember catching strange creatures in a nearby ditch and bringing them back to the classroom. The principal couldn't contain his laughter as he explained to me that I had filled our classroom aquarium with mosquito larvae.
I remember making ice cream in a churn that one of the kids brought to school. It didn't set as we had forgotten about the salt so we hung the bucket outside the window where it kept beautifully frozen.

No comments: