Dedicated to my sisters Connie, Patty, and Anne.
This is not a picture of “all my sisters and me” but one taken by my daughter, Katharine, in the kindergarten class in Cambridge, N.Y. where she is student-teaching. When Katharine was about the age of the little girls in this picture, if she could see that I was still grading papers, and she was tired, but I wasn’t ready to read her that bedtime story yet, she’d get her pillow from her bedroom, bring it downstairs and fall asleep on the rug at my feet. Was I: (A.) a neglectful mother ?
(B.) a dedicated teacher ? – or – (C.) always feeling guilty and overwhelmed ? If you guessed (C.) – you probably didn’t guess. You probably know from experience!
And so I always told my only daughter, “Never be a teacher”! But children tend to watch their parents actions more than they listen to their words. And so Katharine will be earning her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education when she completes her student-teaching this June. And I salute her because I know the challenges she faces. And I know the rewards. And I believe the words on the sign that I taped to my teaching desk:
A Teacher Affects Eternity. You never know where her influence ends.
My mother’s advice to me and my 3 sisters was different than the advice I gave my daughter. Mom said, “Get your degree in Education and teach for one year. You can do whatever you want after that, but you will always have something to fall back on”. Our mother was raised in “Hell’s Kitchen” during the Great Depression and she never forgot that the only people who still had jobs were the teachers. Kids need to go to school even in a Depression. Of my mother’s 4 daughters, the percent of us who were teachers at some point = 100%.
At this time of year teachers are engaged in the most challenging part of their school year and in some ways the most satisfying. There is so much to do and so much to look forward to –
JUNE JULY and AUGUST ! ! !