Wednesday, August 26, 2015


1964 School Building - Google Images
Our schooldays have such an important part in shaping the kind of people we will grow up to be. I think we learn far more about ourselves and life than just the academic subjects the teachers present everyday!

School is the first place you encounter authority and social structure outside the home (besides church for those who have been raised by believers).

Educators can influence a child's life so greatly.  I personally feel we do not pay educators enough, nor teach our children to respect them like we should. I think each school's "teacher of the year," should be made to feel like a rock star! Instead of posters of celebrities and sports figures who often have no morals whatsoever, what if there were a giant photo of a beloved teacher hanging on a kid's bedroom wall?

What if they said, "When I grow up, I want to be just like Miss Siebert?'

Miss Siebert was my third and fourth grade teacher.  (She got promoted to fourth grade teacher the same year I moved up to fourth grade.) She was a strict no-nonsense little German lady who wore a variation of a jacket dress and little black tie-up shoes everyday of her life.  She must have had a standing appointment at the hairdresser's because her hair looked the same everyday, salt and pepper hair teased and curled into a helmet shape.

I loved Miss Siebert, I really did, but I will never forget the day I got on her last nerve.

A little back story first: as a child, I suffered from eczema on my hands. In the era I grew up, recess meant doing things with your hands such as skipping rope, dodge ball, climbing monkey bars and playing Red Rover. Activities where you would either hold hands in a game or else use your hands to climb or hold a ball were all the kinds of things I avoided. This meant often all the kids would be engaged in doing these things and I would be. Standing. Alone.

Children, being the way children are, would not quietly ignore my problem but would announce loudly, "Ew, don't hold hands with her, she's got the creeping crud."

I would go to Miss Siebert for a little commiseration and understanding.  But, as the saying goes, the pitcher went to the well once too often. Miss Siebert got fed up with my feeling sorry for myself.

I was in the classroom whining again about how the other kids wouldn't play with me, when she turned red and started breathing fire. She marched up to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me until I thought her bobby pins might fly out of her hair. She spoke through clenched teeth, "I'm sick of hearing you feel sorry for yourself. No one will want to play with a whiner!  Now you go out there and act like nothing is wrong and eventually someone will play with you. And don't come back in here until the bell rings." 

So, I slunk back out of her room like a dog with my tail tucked between my legs.  I wandered around the side yard of the playground and eventually struck up a conversation with another little girl. I found out if you take the first step someone will be waiting to meet you halfway. 

I also learned nobody wants to hear someone whine... and ... fake it till you make it.


Now, did Miss Siebert say the old proverb, 
"A man who has friends must himself be friendly..." Proverbs 18:24a NKJV
No, but that is really what she meant when she encouraged me to go back out there and act like nothing is wrong. If you don't act friendly, no one will be friendly.

The next time I got in trouble, it was for talking too much, but that is a story for another day!


I'm sharing this post at The Loft today because their topic is School Memories. This is one memory I will never forget.

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers

What about YOU? Do you have memory from your school days you would like to share? Leave a comment, or consider linking your own post at Leah's site, Point to Jesus.


Anonymous said...

Love your storytelling style. I'm sorry for your pain in school though but happy you found a friend...

Megan Whitson Lee said...

I love this tribute to your teacher. And I love that you told a story about a teacher doing what we all wish we could do more of nowadays--give students a dose of reality. As a teacher myself, I'm so appalled at the way the schools coddle kids. A lot of them really do need to be told to suck it up and get on with it...

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Bless your heart. I know that was difficult, but that teacher did you a great service by encouraging you to get back out there and be friendly. I agree with Megan, our schools, and our society in general, coddle kids. Thanks for linking up at The Loft.

betty said...

I totally agree with you that we don't pay our teachers enough. Saddens me we pay professional sports players so much and those who really influence kids so little. Cute story about your teacher :)


Denise said...

really liked this post.