Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mrs. Pomeroy and 4th Grade

My favorite teacher in school was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Pomeroy. She had brain surgery just before that year at school so she had very short hair, as short as a boy's. She kept a bag of pink mints (the kind that have four X's on the top) in her desk drawer and gave one to anyone in the class who was having a bad day. She wore earrings that were held on her ears with small, roound magnets. She kept a small pitcher of water and a clean washcloth which she called the "cry rag". When we all laughed at the thought of "grown up fourth graders" crying she assured us that everyone would need it before the year was through. I thought not me but sure enough, I needed it when my mother couldn't bake a cake for the school carnival because she was having a baby. I think everyone in the class had occasion to use it but it was no big deal.
We had class pets, a newt, kept in a large fish tank without water in it, and a turtle. The turtle died and Mrs. Pomeroy put 3 or 4 of us girls in charge of a funeral service. We buried him on the playground.
Mrs. Pomeroy put me in charge of seeing that Larry Givens, a boy in the class, had "tails" on all of his words which we were learning to write in cursive. I felt very important but who knows, maybe I was forgetting to put tails on my words.
One day she pulled down a map of the world. She had each student come and whisper in her ear the name of the place where we lived. We thought we knew where we lived, but by the end of the day she was still shaking her head no to our whisperings. By this time, everyone was desperate to know. Finally, she told us it was North America and pointed it out on the map. Thus began our Social Studies lesson.
We made a book for every unit in Social Studies. I still have the books and a picture I made of the house where we lived. I thought I was always a good speller but looking at these books now, I realize I wasn't and it gives me a little window into the mind of a 4th grader.
Mrs. Pomeroy knew that I was moving to British Columbia.Canada at the end of the year where most Americans have trouble in their schools so she prepared me with extra things. When I enrolled in school in B.C. they skipped me into sixth grade.
What I learned: Learning can be a fun adventure if the teacher will make it that way.
Everyone, even students, has something to offer.
When things don't go well, just use a "cry rag" and go on with life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I am showing my computer ignoance. I just made a post but posted it to my other BLOG. I don't know how to change it so if you want to read it you'll have to go to the other one - - cpk.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The first teachers we will ever have are our parents. They not only will be our first teachers, they will continue to teach us and influence us throughout life - even after they are gone. As a mother. I loved teaching my children and got great fulfillment from it, more than I ever imagined.
I learned so much from my mother, I made a little book called "Gifts From My Mother". I also learned valuable lessons from my father, who among other things, read to us every night. He read "Black Beauty," "1001 Arabian Nights," "Little Women", "Little Men" and others. What I remember most are the poems he read to us every night from The Childcraft books. I still remember many of them and say them in my head to help me fall asleep at night when I can't sleep.
One thing he taught me was how to deal with others as illustrated by the following experience: For several weeks my mother had forgotten to have a white shirt ironed and ready for Sunday morning. One Sunday morning we were all in the car, ready to go to church, waiting while my mother made the final preparations in the house for our Sunday dinner. When she joined us in the car, she looked over at my Dad and let out a gasp. There sat my dad behind the steering wheel with his suit coat on over his underwear and a tie around his bare neck.
My mother ran in the house, set a speed record for ironing a shirt, and never failed to have a white shirt, ironed and waiting in the closet afterward.
WHAT I LEARNED: It is more effective to teach someone through natural consequences when possible than to use yelling or nagging.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in college I was going to be a high school teacher, then a college professor. After three years of college, I married and had kids. During this time I was a piano teacher. I became involved in a Cooperative Preschool when my kids were young. Other mothers in my area. some who had elementary education college training, had children the same age as mine. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this experience, one which had great value for my children and which their kindergarten teachers commented on positively when they started regular school.
When all my children were in school I went back to college full time and earned my BA in Elementary Education and began teaching kindergarten. Up until that time my very supportive husband and I had been alternating taking classes at a local University. He was working on a Master's degree, I towards completing my BA.
I taught kindergarten for 12 years. My husband, a high school Chemistry teacher, were surprised we had so much in common to talk about at the dinner table each day. We still talk about writing a book together called Kindergarten Chemistry. I enjoyed teaching kindergarten and found I could learn much about teaching from my students.
Between being a mother, piano teacher, and kindergarten teacher, I have had many interesting experiences, many of which taught important principles. I thought they might be of value to others, hence, this BLOG. In my posts I will describe the experience and what I learned from it. We all are teachers in some way, even if it is not a chosen career.