About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

School Daze

David at authorblog has posed a question for anyone who sees it. "Do you remember your first day of school?"

Oh my goodness, YES! I remember being so excited because my older sister had already been in school for four years and I could hardly wait to join her. My mother used to put the radio on every morning for "Kindergarten on the Air" and my younger sister and I would be glued to the set! We lived right across the street from the school and my older sister would come home for lunch with us. Then I'd watch as she set off for her afternoon classes, wishing I could go with her.
Finally, it was my turn! My mother made sure my dress was clean and pressed, I had clean socks and my shoes were polished. I had a beautiful chocolate box for my pencils, too. We all had chocolate boxes in those days and I'm sure it was either a Rogers or a Purdy's box. Naturally, my mother took my picture for my first day. Both my sisters were in the photo with me, but I knew it was because it was MY first day. In the photo you can tell my older sister was a bit bored by it all but my younger sister was almost as excited as I was because she knew that she'd be next.

We walked across the street to Lord Tennyson School, named after the 19thC Poet Laureate, Lord Alfred Tennyson. We all had to line up in our grades outside the huge steps at the side of the school. I managed to find my place, anxious that the bell would ring so that I could get into my classroom. When we finally made it inside, the teacher made us all line up along the wall while she assigned us our desks. I can remember that it seemed like forever before I got to sit down.
The next thing I remember is being home and crying to my mother because we hadn't learned anything that day! I thought I'd be able to read by the end of that first day. But it didn't really take too long before I could read and I loved first grade. My teacher, by the way, was old Miss Roy who had taught my mother and my older sister first grade. She seemed to love me as she had really loved my mother and sister.

One of my most vivid memories of that year was the day when mothers were allowed to visit the classroom to observe. Chairs were set out at the back of the room for them and we children were told that we were to pretend they weren't there. I loved my mother so much and thought she was the most beautiful lady there and I wanted to see if she was watching me. I knew I mustn't turn around or else Miss Roy would see me and I'd get in trouble. But, I figured out a way to turn around without getting into trouble. I innocently dropped my pencil on the floor and as I bent over to pick it up, I sneaked a peek at my mother. It worked! So I did it again. And again...Finally, Miss Roy told me that I better get a better grip on my pencil and not to drop it again. Agh! Foiled. I sat very straight then and concentrated on the lesson, not peeking again the entire time. Of course my mother saw me do it and she actually was sort of proud of me that I'd figured out a way to bypass the rule.

The school is still there to this day and I often think about my year there. I looked it up online and I love the school's mission statement: To enable learners to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to foster life-long learning and to experience success in future life pursuits.

I don't know if they had the same mission statement back in 1953 when I was in first grade, but Miss Roy succeeded in developing my potential and fostering a love of learning. Not long after I began school, I told my mother I was going to be a teacher when I grew up. Guess what?

So tell me what your first day at school was like.


david mcmahon said...

What a lovely post, Leslie - and what a great looking school.

Jo said...

I remember my first day of school. My older brother, Tom, was playing in the school yard with his friends, and I ran up to him and said, "Hi, Tom!" and he turned around and said, "Go away, little girl, I don't know you." He didn't want any of his "cool" friends to see him talking to his little sister. I was heartbroken.

My daughter went to Lord Tennyson School, as did her son. It's a French Immersion school now.

Gin said...

I'm a school bus driver, so I have a "first day of school" even at my age!! I love it! There is a certain feeling every year when school starts. When I retire, I'm sure I'll miss that rush!!

RiverPoet said...

Wow, I have no idea what happened on my first day of school. I think I must have cried because I didn't want to leave my mom, but I survived :-)

Peace - D

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Lovely post Leslie..but wow haven;t you got a good memory...I wouldn;t have a clue what happened on my first day at school, in fact I have know idea where I was living...might of been Holland or Germany. Mayebe I should ask my mum...she would faint, I never talk about my childhood.

Leslie: said...

David, thanks for suggesting this topic.

Jo, I heard it's now Fr Imm. And weren't your brothers just typical! lol

Ginni, there really is a certain feeling the first day of school. I bet you're just as excited as the kids.

riverpoet, we are all glad you survived it and hope the rest of your school days were okay.

Anne, you should ask your Mum 'cuz I bet she'd have some great stories for you!

Richard Havers said...

I'm impressed. I cannot for the life of me remember a thing about it.

nancygrayce said...

That was such a good post! I well remember my first year of school, but I'm not sure I remember the actual first day. That makes me kind of sad.

Paulie said...

I don't remember the first day. I do remember I got to go to all day Kindergarten because my birthday was in January past the deadline for starting first grade. Those who met the deadline had 6 weeks of K only in the summer.

I do remember there were long sandboxes we stood up to play in. I remember there were 27 sets of twins in our grade school alone and (my sister and) I was one of them.

Liz Hinds said...

What a lovely memory to have!

sally in norfolk said...

what a great memory you have :-)

Saz said...

I really enjoyed reading about your first day,at scchool. Its a rewarding experience following David's fans in their pursuit of replying adequately to his questions!

Saz said...

I really enjoyed reading about your first day,at scchool. Its a rewarding experience following David's fans in their pursuit of replying adequately to his questions!