Thursday, July 22, 2010

MPT7--Fifth Grade and a Favorite Teacher

This is the seventh in a series of 15 posts recounting my childhood. (To see parts 1 through 6, click the label "MPT" in my sidebar.) Today's topic is Fifth Grade. Today we're talking about 5th grade and now is when my memory starts improving. I remember showing off my "double jointed" arms one day in line. I remember the boy I had a crush on once held open my desk for me. {Way to lead me on, Cory!} I remember timed multiplication tests--I would never finish all the questions, but of those I answered, I'd get 100% correct. When we were doing the spelling bee, I missed the first word "abate"--I spelled it "abait." I liked writing really really small and at one point my teacher took me and this other girl aside and told us we had to write bigger. And I was bummed because I loved my itty bitty handwriting.

But when I look back, what sticks with me about 5th grade was my teacher, one of my all-time favorites, Mrs. Ihlenfeldt (I have no idea how to spell that!). She was a pretty woman, probably around 50 years old because I remember she had a grown son. Really kind!

One of my favorite memories of that year is that she would read to our class. That practice had stopped a few years back as we were considered big kids who only did silent reading. But Mrs. I would read books to us again and it was such a treat. I can't remember all she read to us, but I think two of them were "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Hobbit." And then she took our class on a field trip to see "The Hobbit" on stage. :-)

In general, I think teachers liked me. But Mrs. I took a special interest in me. She noticed I was very self-critical and she took it upon herself to increase my self-esteem. I don't remember how she did it, but I remember around Valentine's Day we were making basket-weave hearts. I looked at the heart I had made and complimented it and Mrs. I overheard and practically jumped for joy that I'd complimented myself! {Of course, then I was completely embarassed and ashamed as if I'd been bragging. I had a strong aversion to bragging.} So I guess her encouragement had worked. ;-)

Although I continued to struggle with self-esteem (and still do, to this day), I truly appreciate all that Mrs. Ihlenfeldt did to encourage me to see my worth and acknowledge my accomplishments and mostly I am just grateful that she took a special interest in me--that was the greatest compliment of all!

For more 5th grade adventures, head over to Mommy's Piggy Tales. And tune in next week for my 6th grade memories (that was the year the Challenger exploded)....

1 comment:

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Look at what a good teacher can do...you have wonderful memories...Oh, next week, I can tell you where I was setting watching and pregnant with my second when the Challenger went down...makes chill bumps on my airs.
Enjoyed your post and enjoying this Mommy Piggy Tale journey