Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Favorite Time at School

I look back on my elementary school days with a lot of fondness. Junior high years? Now, that's a different story. But elementary school is just so innocent and fun and sweet in my mind's eye. From kindergarten through fourth grade, I attended Woodland Elementary School in Graham, Texas. The summer after fourth grade, I moved to Oklahoma City and attended fifth and sixth grade at James L. Dennis Elementary School. But whether I lived in Texas or Oklahoma, my favorite time of the day in any grade was when my teacher would read out loud to the class. I'd go to lunch, play outside during recess, then come in to find my teacher sitting on a stool at the front of the classroom, book in hand and ready to read.

I remember when my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Brown, read Beauty by Bill Wallace. She cried at the end when Beauty, a young boy's beloved horse, has to be put down. I remember it was the first time I had ever seen a teacher cry. It really touched me because I felt like crying too and it was good not to be alone.

And then there was the time my third grade teacher, Mrs. Mersiovsky, read the book Skinnybones by Barbara Park. What a funny book! During one particularly humorous chapter, she started laughing so hard she couldn't finish the sentence she was reading. In fact, I remember she cackled so loud that she covered her mouth and then dabbed at her eyes. I still think back to that moment. I remember laughing right along with her and several other students in my classroom. It was like we had shared in our own little joke.

Then I became a teacher. I couldn't wait to read with my students! When I was student teaching my fourth grade class, we read Sarah, Plain and Tall together. I still remember how quiet it was in the room as I read how Sarah came all the way from Maine to hopefully be Anna and Caleb's new mother. And then when I had my own classroom, I had so much fun choosing which books I would read to my kids. I remember reading Holes, Small Steps, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Tuck Everlasting, Walk Two Moons, Where the Red Fern Grows, A Long Way From Chicago, and Freak the Mighty (just to name a few). After reading a chapter or two, I would close the book and instantly someone would ask, "Just one more chapter? Pleeeaaasssee?" Then more students would chime in with, "Please, Mrs. Galloway? Just one more?" Usually, I would give in, reading one more chapter. What good memories I have during those times!

And you know what else? Like my sweet sixth grade teacher, I also read Beauty every year. And every year, I cried too.


Joe and Talsie said...

I love reading Tuck Everlasting when I was your student teacher. That was my favorite part of being in your classroom. Other than meeting you!

Emily said...

Thank you, Talsie! I was having a rough year when you came, and you were definitely my bright spot! :)