As I look back through photographs from my childhood, I’m struck by how many fewer pictures we (our family, and I assume most) took then, compared to now. I think one single photograph documents my entire school journey — at least, I can only find one photo taken of me inside school. Ready for it?
If my memory is correct, this was a rather big deal to me at the time. It’s taken in December 1974, when I think I would have been in fourth grade. Throughout my childhood, I enjoyed writing. Other kids would come home and play softball — I would come home and read or write.
My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Baughman, was kind and perceptive enough to let me (and another girl, Marcilynn I’m thinking?) write a school play for the class to perform. I think the script has been lost to history, but I remember how excited I was to stay in with Marcilynn during recess, working on our play. I think this photo shows our performance — the kids in the desks are probably kids from another class who came to watch.
I’m near the center, wearing my Christmas jumper with a red top and navy bottom, in all my glory.
Fond memories of those days, when teachers had the flexibility to depart from the curriculum to let kids follow their strengths and interests. The tightening of standards in school nowadays is a major reason why I haven’t pursued returning to the classroom, where I taught for 8 years before my kids were born.
I recognize several kids in the photo. I regret that so much of it is focused on the lights, because it would be interesting to see more of the classroom. I see (and remember) that area to the right — there was a sink there. Do elementary classrooms still have sinks? I don’t think mine did when I taught.