This is teacher appreciation week and even though I no longer have to sit in a classroom and adhere to all the class rules, I still think about those days and reflect on all the learning I did.  All my teachers taught me some pretty important things and none of them were found in the books we tested on.  I am who I am today because of the teachers who helped shape me.  The following is one of my earliest memories.

I had a teacher in early elementary I called Ms. CottonHead because I couldn’t pronounce her name correctly.  One afternoon a boy in my class dared me to raise my hand and ask to go to the bathroom, the boy’s bathroom.  On this day I was wearing a dress much like the one Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz.  My teacher allowed me the break and I went to the boy’s bathroom thinking it was an easy dare because nobody would be in there.  I was right the bathroom was empty but hey….that isn’t fair they get long drinking fountains in their bathroom.  As I was about to test out the drinking fountain the break bell rang….dang!  I ran behind the bathroom door to hide as the boys filed in.  It turned out to be a bad idea because my poufy skirt stuck out and gave me away.  I will never forget the look on the boy’s face that found me behind the door and ran out to tattle on me.  Another teacher came in to pry me out from behind the door and deliver me to my own teacher.  From my teacher I learned to patiently ask questions and listen.  This is a quality I am still trying to master.  She looked at me sternly and asked why I had done such a thing and said she would have to tell my parents, “please refrain from using the boy’s bathroom again”.  She pointed out that I had given in to peer pressure and our conversation set the stage for decisions I made later in life.  Much, much later I found out these long drinking fountains were in fact urinals…..thank goodness the break bell rang!

The list of memories goes on and on and continues through college and into my work life. I am surrounded by teachers some good, some not great but I learn from them both.  Then I think of my daughter and all the teachers in her life and how I am also a teacher.  We should support our good quality teachers, show more appreciation, and give them the help they ask for.  I had a few awful teachers but most of my teachers had a passion for their job and I am grateful to those that cared.

I would also like to remember one of my teachers who passed away this year.  He was my 5th grade teacher and following is a picture of him.  It was Tacky day and I am the small girl on his right.  I still find myself humming The Rainbow Connection to this day!  He loved reading and he taught me to love it as well.  Thank you Mr. Campbell!


  1. school stories like that are fun. i’ve been teaching 25 years, middle school, urban area. girls in the boys room is not unusual, but usually there’s sex or drugs involved when it’s my school.


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