What memories do you have of the people who have come into your life? What impact have these had on you? Have they enriched your life? Have they affected your life choices? What emotions to these memories bring up in you?
Like all teachers, I have memories of so many things that happened over the course of my career: memories of colleagues and students, of extra curricular events – band concerts and competitions and trips and coaching, of lessons which worked and lessons which really bombed; of Ministry of Education edicts and school board directives.
I’m choosing to share some of my best memories of working with students and also my worst memories…
Students have always given some of their teachers nicknames. When I was in high school, we named the Head of Science ‘Uncle Fester’ because he looked like the character in the Addams Family TV show. We dubbed the Head of the Classics department ‘The Mortician’ because he had this very funereal air. I was used to being called Miss Summer and Miss Spring and Miss Fall. One student even called me Miss Indian Summer. I count myself lucky that, except for the play on my last name and why my students ever thought they were being unique and creative about that always escaped me, what my name seemed to be was ‘her’. “Is she here? Has anyone seen her today?”
I have wonderful memories of my music students. There was that group of 4 tall and strong guys. I was introduced to the Dr Demento show by one of them whose brother used to tape those radio shows. I remember ‘They don’t make nun names like they used to no more’ and ‘Billy the Mountain’. I’ll never forget one student’s hands as he started clapping and fanning them out as the jazz band played. All of a sudden, his large hands were in my line of sight. And when we had to get a tour bus moved quickly in order to get to medical aid for a student who had suddenly become very ill, that group of 4 pretty much bench pressed a VW bug out of the way of the tour bus… Bounce, bounce, lift and repeat.
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