Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pinehurst: Sixth Grade

Some of my readers are weary of my travels, so I will resume my incredibly long and uneventful years of schooling.

Male Teacher

In the sixth grade at Pinehurst elementary school, I had my first male teacher: Mr. Turner. I thought he was very old, but he was probably in his late 20s. In those days, teachers had to dress-up for school, and so while the ladies wore a variety of dresses, Mr. Turner wore a suit, jacket and all. He had an easy-going style, but was a no-nonsense kind of guy when it came to the boys acting up in the class.


I think they put all the problem kids in that class. Not that all who were in there were difficult, but we did have our share of second-year sixth graders. (Or Super-Sixth graders as my kids would say - if grade school kids were held back these days. They do call the second and third year Seniors "Super Seniors.").

We had at least one kid who was very poor, and also not so swift, I'll call him J. Then we had one Super Sixth-grader who was nearly too big for his desk, I'll call him B. Then there was another Super Sixth-grader who was pretty average - except when we had a substitute teacher - then he went psycho. (One substitute, a retired school teacher, locked this kid in the closet and called the Principal to remove him from class.)

Now J had red hair, and used to tease me unmercifully during recess. Once he threw an orange at me, and it exploded into the back of my coat. He got reamed for that. I got back at him (as I was vindictive then) by gathering together a "gang of girls" and we beat up the boys. It became our favorite recess activity. He was one of my favorite targets for my girls to "get." (Poor use of leadership skills during a time when the girls were actually bigger and stronger than some of the boys.)

Super-sized Boots

B, was a hoot. One day while the teacher stepped out of the room, B. was sitting in his desk (his knees scrunched up under the writing surface) and he began to sing "These Boots were Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra. When he got to the chorus, "One of these days these boots are gonna' walk all over you" - he'd point at someone. Then he said, "My boots are going to walk on you, (and point at someone), and you (and point at someone else), and you (same indicator). Then he looked at J , pointed and said, "But not you, cause you'd get 'em all dirty." For some reason, as much as I am embarrassed to admit, I laughed.

Teacher's Helper

I used to work fast and well in sixth grade. I was always trying to be the first one done with all my work. Mr. Turner rewarded me often, by allowing me to write things on the board for him. The kids probably thought I was teacher's pet, but he also let others do things around the classroom when they were done with their work.

Birthday Cupcakes

One of my favorite things about Mr. Turner's class was the way we celebrated our birthdays in his class. There wasn't a big party or a lot of hoopla, but on each child's birthday, he would present him or her with a special Birthday Cupcake. The cupcakes were homemade by his wife, and she would frost the girls' cupcakes with pink frosting, and the boys with blue. Each cupcake had a single Birthday candle in the center, which was lit. When he brought out the cupcake(s). We'd all sing "Happy Birthday" to the lucky recipient(s). I waited a long time to get my cupcake, as my birthday was after Christmas break.

(Can you imagine homemade treats and a lit candle - what were they thinking?)


Mrs. Fierce Shoes said...

I was teacher's pet for many grades...could've been because my mom worked at the school and handed out their!

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

LOL - you have a point there. It was probably because you did good work and were very agreeable.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

It doesn't matter how old my students are I make a big deal with birthdays. Sign on the board, a treat ( not baked) and they get to sit in " the comfortable chair". Mr. T. had it right!

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

It really makes an impression on a child to be remembered and doted on. Some of the kids may not have any celebration at home! Those special things you do, may be remembered for a lifetime.

raymond pert said...

I'm trying to think if I know who B and J are. I have a since I might know who B is, but J has me hair..Pinehurst...our's not coming to me.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

RP: I will email the names. B is a nickname. J was only at Pinehurst for one year.