11.22.2015

Sibling Assignment #171: Autumn in Kellogg: A Teacher's Magical Approach to Learning.

Sister Carol gave the sibling assignment for this week:  "Write about a memory or memories of the autumn season growing up in Kellogg, sometime before you graduated from Kellogg High School."
I will link my siblings' posts when completed.

I began my elementary school years at Silver King School. In first grade I was almost across the hall from my mother's classroom. She taught second grade. We attended school with her so we didn't have to walk a long ways to our neighborhood school. I suppose it was helpful also that we were there with her before and after school.

Before second grade we moved 516 W. Cameron in Kellogg and Mom decided we would go to the school in our neighborhood. We walked each day to Sunnyside School. From the first day of school there I have vivid memories, but today I am going to write about autumn in second grade. 

My teacher was Mrs. Meyer and I felt a bit special because my great-uncle's wife was her sister. I guess I thought we were related. She was bigger than life in her instruction, her manner, her talents , and her activities. It seems very unlikely that 2nd graders at Sunnyside School would ever be allowed to leave the classroom and walk off the playground during a school day. Not when Mrs. Meyer was your teacher. One glorious, sunny autumn afternoon we went on a walking field trip.

We were studying Neighborhoods in social studies and I can still remember to this day the blocks we strolled through as a well-mannered group and how she taught us how the even and odd house numbers worked. She also pointed out how you count by twos on addresses.  I guess she tied a bit of math in there also. From that day forward I always felt smug because I knew why the houses had certain numbers. I am sure we then learned about our own addresses.


The next learning adventure on this walking field trip was a science lesson. Mrs. Meyer taught us how to observe nature by studying leaves. The sidewalks that day were covered with leaves. She let us pick them up, throw them in the air, and study them. When we were done we brought our favorites back to the classroom. 

Then the teacher performed magic. She showed us how to lay the leaves on wax paper and preserve them between two sheets by having her iron them. I loved observing all those preserved leaves in the huge classroom window that autumn. More then fifty years later I can still remember the neighborhood we walked, what the house numbers meant, the smell of the leaves, the feel of the leaves, and how important I felt being able to walk with my class away from school for a learning experience.
Mrs. Meyer was a magical teacher every day I had her in class. Whether it was poetry she recited, reading exercises about Dick and Jane and their friends, or learning to do paper mache.... it was magical. I will never forget her.


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