The Power of Teachers: A Hope For A Great Third Grade

Last year was a rough year for NHL.  We struggled through most of the year trying to find some way for him to fit into the class’ structure.  Nothing we came up with worked.  (Or rather, should I say, nothing we suggested was fully implemented to give it a chance to work.)  A bullying incident was the final straw and NHL was moved to another school.

Luckily, the bullying was a blessing in disguise as this new school and NHL took to each other instantly.  The administrators and teachers knew just how to handle NHL to keep him interested and engaged and NHL loved school again.  He even cried when school ended because he didn’t want to stop learning.

As the school year starts up again, NHL didn’t cry about going back to school.  He was nervous, to be sure, but they were normal going-back-to-school nerves and not a desire to stay away from the school itself.  He’s actually excited to go into the third grade.  (Side Note: How did I become the parent of a third grader?  Wasn’t he just a baby?  I think I need to go over my old physics equations to find out why if Relativity can prove that time speeds up a child’s aging process.  Side Side Note: Must find a way to keep JSL four.)

Thinking back, I recall my transition from the second grade to the third grade.  I had an awful second grade.  My teacher, Mrs. D, hated kids, especially didn’t like boys and despised me.  She would make fun of me in front of the class, give me “special work” to do every night (the same assignment which she wouldn’t grade – my mother made me hand in the same paper every day and she never caught on), told me I’d never succeed in life, and generally made my life miserable.  I remembered going to the in-classroom bathroom just to escape her for a few minutes.  I also remember actually being happy that I got the chicken pox because it meant I didn’t need to see Mrs. D for awhile.  Yes, itchy scabs all over my body were preferable to Mrs. D.

Obviously, I wasn’t sure about the third grade.  If Mrs. D was any indication of which way school was headed, I was going to be miserable for a long time.  Then, I met Mrs. S.  Where Mrs. D was mean and hated kids/me, Mrs. S was nice and loved kids.  This year we happened to have reading tests to place us into reading groups.  Mrs. S noticed that I got a good score on the “normal reading group” test.  She wanted me to take the advanced reading group’s test.  At her urging, I did and wound up doing well on that one.  So I was moved into the advanced reading group.

Advanced reading groups led to advanced level courses and then to AP/College Level courses.   Many of my successes in life and desire to learn new things, I trace back to Mrs. S.  Had she been a Mrs. D-clone, I would likely have hated school and dropped out at the first opportunity.  My life would have certainly gone down a much worse path.  This one teacher saw potential in me and did her best to bring it out.  She succeeded and, wherever she is, I thank her.  I hope that NHL’s third grade teacher can bring the best out of NHL the way Mrs. S was able to with me.