Who is that teacher?

My mother taught school. She kind of fell into it during WW ll. We were attending a small Quaker school and there was a need for a substitute teacher. Since she had taught Sunday School, and subs were hard to come by, there was a chance she might sub for a sick teacher.
I was in 5th grade when she first substituted in that school in my class. I recall very well wondering what I should call her: Momie, Mrs Morse, Teacher? Momie sensed the problem right away and I was sent to the office with my work for the few days she was there. She told me this was not a punishment, that I could have recess and lunch with my friends. She also promised never to sub in my class again.
I was in high school when she was asked to sub for my English  teacher. Before she accepted, she asked me. I was sure I could handle it until she made her homework assignment for my class that week. We had been studying poetry and Mrs Peckham was a very tough teacher. I was sure the homework assignment was one she would not have ever suggested…. to draw a picture to illustrate a poem. I was mortified and hung my head as we walked out of the room, only to have the whole class tell me they loved my mom. What a neat assignment. Whew… relieved. (Momie also knew I loved to draw.)

I was in high school when she got a job teaching fourth grade at my school and I would walk past the fourth grade room as my classes were letting out. The person standing in front of the class of fourth graders was not the mother I lived with. I have wondered if my children would have a different image of me as a teacher and as a mother. My youngest was in fourth grade when I was an aid at her school. She refused to even acknowledge I was related. As one of two women overseeing the play ground at recess, it happened that both of us wore red coats, so we were simply called the Red Coats… as in “Watch out. The red coats are coming.”

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2 Responses to Who is that teacher?

  1. Cherie Thomas says:

    Your story made me smile. My son didn’t acknowledge me for a couple of days after he started his freshman year at Ferndale High. He didn’t know if I was cool . . . if kids liked me . . . I knew I’d made the grade when he stopped in my classroom on his way from his Ag class to his next. He put an arm around me and spoke a few words and left. It wasn’t until Elsa Ochoa screamed and the frog jumped off my shoulder that I realized what he had done! 🙂

  2. elle1955 says:

    I was lucky that my kids enjoyed having me as a teacher. What they call you is always tricky. I was glad to have the time with them when I had to be at work.

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