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.