I attended Westwood Elementary School in Friendswood, Texas during the late 1970’s. The school had a traffic signal light in the cafeteria. When the light was green, students could talk; yellow meant students could whisper; but when it was on red, no one dared to speak. Unfortunately for me, I was known as a motor mouth and would always talk to my friends no matter what color the light. I finally had my day of reckoning when I was in fourth grade. I will NEVER forget this infamous day! The light was red and as usual, I was jabbering away to my friends. Little did I know there was a teacher, wearing a cream and green crocheted wide-striped sweater, watching me the entire time. After she had seen enough, she approached me, grabbed my arm and said, “Follow me young lady!”. All the way, she scolded me for not following the rules in the cafeteria. She then told me my punishment was that I had to sit on the stage in front of the student body for the remainder of the week. I was mortified! [Read More…]
Summer finally came and it was absolutely joyous until I received a letter from the school informing me of my 5th grade schedule. As soon as I saw the teacher’s name I yelled, “NOOOO”!! I could not be in Mrs. Pare’s class! I begged my mother to go to the school and get a schedule change but my mom refused to do it. Needless to say, the rest of my summer days were miserable. By the time school started, I was a nervous wreck.
On the first day of my fifth grade year, I could barely compose myself. I remember my stomach being tied up in knots. But once I got to school, everything began to get better. I was sure Mrs. Pare had forgotten I was the student she had placed on the stage the year before. Surprisingly, she was super nice and so much fun! Every day we would skip down the hallways to PE class singing “We are off the see the Wizard…,” and she even played with us on the playground during recess. That year became one of my favorite memories of school.
The following year I would make sure to stop by her classroom at least twice a week to see her on my way home from school. I would help her clean her room, but most times we would talk about school, family and life in general. I moved away that same year and although we never saw each other, we kept in touch over the years.
The next time I saw her was at my wedding. Mrs. Pare sat in my mom’s spot at my wedding. I could not have been more proud to have her there. Ten years later, she drove 500 miles round trip to attend my baby shower. Although it has been 30 years since I was in her classroom, we still keep in touch.
Things always happen for a reason. If I had not had Mrs. Pare as my teacher in 5th grade, I do not think I could have made it to where I am today. She has always been there for me — to provide a shoulder to cry on or be the voice of reason. She is like a mom to me, and I will forever be grateful to her. So, in honor of Teacher’s Appreciation Week, I want to say “Thank you Mrs. Pare for everything you have given me over the years. I love you!!”