For Teacher Appreciation Week

For Teacher Appreciation Week

Originally written and posted 8/19/13 –

THANK A TEACHER

On this  night before a new school year is about to start and the summer vacation and family visits are memories,  I was thinking about why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.

I’m writing and posting these photos to pay tribute to wonderful teachers in my life.

In the 3rd grade I had an excellent teacher Grace Wagner from Dravosburg PA  who taught at Winchester- Thurston.   I found an alumni listing online Indiana PA Teachers College class of 1920.  Unfortunately I  can’t find the photo I have of her but plan to unearth it and post someday soon.  Who wouldn’t love a teacher who wrote this about their student.  I found it tonight in an envelope addressed to my parents, inside a deteriorating leather scrapbook.  Isn’t her handwriting beautiful? I am so grateful I discovered this report tonight before  school starts.  “she is able to put her gifts to good use” she wrote.  I feel encouraged once again as I hear her voice as I read the words she wrote in 1960-1961

Miss Wagner marked a 1 ( outstanding) for Play Spirit on the report card.   They don’t have that category on report cards anymore.

 

School Report

 

 

 

And here is Winona Stewart from Morris Plains Borough School in New Jersey.

Winona Stewart

In the sixth grade and also in the 7th and 8th grade I had a most wonderful teacher- Winona Stewart.  We had a Roman Banquet and she read The Human Comedy by William Saroyan aloud after lunch, and also The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford.  Every week we memorized a poem and recited it- The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth is one I remember well.   I took this photo of Mrs. Steward in 1966, the year I graduated from 8th grade.  When I lived in Germany and my own kids were young in the early 80’s, I found an address and wrote her a thank you note and told her how I remembered her reading aloud to our class and how she influenced my choice to get a Masters in Reading.  She wrote a beautiful note back to me and one of these days I bet I unearth it, too.  She collaborated with the next teacher I am going to mention.  We did a show called The Curse of Ra  as we learned about Egypt making a gold sarcophagus of papier mache and I was a dancing girl.  It all seemed so exciting and wonderful and fun!

Mr G.  is why I wanted to be an art teacher.  I had him in grade school AND High School.  I didn’t try to contact him soon enough as he was deceased when I though of it.

Arthur W Guenther.  He produced a movie with our 4th grade class called Around the World in 90 Minutes. I was from the Netherlands and we used real wooden shoes in the tulips.   I got a bit part in the French segment too, standing by a Kiosk, chatting away.  I remember Starr Kenyon went down the slide as if skiing.  Titi Moglia wore a kimono and had a fan and there were pink tissue paper cherry blossoms.  I wish I could see the movie again.

When I think of all his creativity,  I am in awe.

Mr. Guenther danced on Broadway in the show South Pacific with Mary Martin and showed us his scrapbook,

Arthur Guenther

 

Around the World in 90 Minutes

Mr. Guenther helped finish the monochrome portrait of me in 4th period oil painting class.  It hangs in my bathroom.

My granddaughter Anna asked this past week, “Why are you all green?:  and I started thinking about Mr Guenther and how he inspired me.

And here I am tonight, wondering if I can inspire someone as I start my new classes.

 

Ruth HEndricks Portrait

 

 

My father, Roy J. Hendricks (b. 1912-d.2002) was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois

Roy Hendricks Teacher

 

 

 

My mother Marian VanSickle (b. 1912- d. 2000)  was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois  That is my mom in the back row on the left.

Marian VanSickle

 

What teacher inspired you?

What wonderful teachers did you have when you were growing up?

 

 

 

A Roomful of Cellos

A roomful of cellos. A closet full of violas. Basses along the wall. And violins galore! Friday we got the tour of The Loft Violin Shop on High Street in Columbus OH by the owner himself, Mr. David Schlub. They’ve been in business for more than forty years. String quartets have played in the different rooms and then rotated after a half hour or so. Wouldn’t that be great to hear the music made by these beautiful wooden instruments?

“From the moment you walk in our workshop, you will understand our commitment to old world craftsmanship and fine stringed instruments.”

http://www.theloftviolinshop.com/about-the-loft.html

Solidarity with New York Teachers

From one city of Pittsburgh school teacher to the teachers of New York-

I met Megan as we were getting on the subway shuttle today.  She teaches Middle School Special Ed.

She was on her way to the demonstration in front of Governor Cuomo’s East Side Office to protest his unfair educational policies and linking student test scores to teacher evaluation (for starters). Not to mention his total disrespect for teachers.

Here’s the photo I took of her with her protest sign.

(Mary and I were on our way to meet friends at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.)

She sent the photo I took to herself- so later I had a thought.  See below the dotted line.

Here it is. Thanks Megan.

Special Ed Teacher on way to protest

 

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Then I got to thinking and texted her and asked her to send photos from the actual demonstration.

 

Here is Megan’s gallery of the parents and teachers and students united in oppostion to Governor Cuomo’s Educational Policy.

 

 

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(looks like a a pretty handknit scarf, too- I know it had to be cold standing outside)

 

Found Item in a Classroom Drawer

One of my students likes to tidy up, organize the card readers in one box and the memory cards in a little tin.

J makes sure the batteries are charged in the cameras or puts the drained batteries in the chargers.

When he first came to my classroom, I was certain I had him as a younger student when I taught K-8 art but such was not the case.  He must have reminded me of someone.

Anyway, he found this wooden block in a drawer under the chalkboard.  “Look at this” he said.  Showed me the RUTH.  “it has your name on it.”

What fun.  I’d forgotten about the block and had it in my desk drawer under some papers and was digging around for a blue pass to write for someone to go to the BR and there was my name on the block. RUTH.

Snapped it with my cell phone.

What are the odds of someone finding a wooden block with your name on it in the classroom where you have been teaching the last couple of years?

Ruth, being a sort of old fashioned name, I wonder how old this block is.

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Portrait of the Photography Teacher by Nicholas

Nicholas is a new student in  the seventh period class.
Today we were working on portraits. He asked to take my picture.
This might be his third week in class. He used an SX 170 Kodak Point and Shoot camera and some soft lights.  I think the soft focus is perfect for me at this point of my life.
Not only did he catch the light in the eyes, even with my glasses on, there is no reflection on the lenses.  Nice!
I also like that he got  my hands with the camera.
How often are you pleased with your own image?
We were testing out the new photo backdrop the kids constructed last Friday.  They put it together like a puzzle. (Thanks Connie, Anthony and Madison) We use the old darkroom in the back of the classroom as without the proper ventilation for the chemicals, we had to go digital.
The students used  the PVC pipe I bought and Mr. U,  the carpentry teacher,  helped cut it to the right dimensions.
If you need a photo backdrop, click this link for the $20 DIY plan from Dandelions on the Wall. Actually the total was closer to $40 but it works great!
portrait of the photography teacher
Ms. Hendricks photographed by Nicholas

What Hundreds of Years of Teaching Thousands of Students Looks Like

Greenfield Elementary School, Pittsburgh PA  Veteran’s Day Dinner.

Breaking bread together. It’s an annual event.  One that former prinicpal BJ (Brent Johnson) looks forward to all year.

Lots of conversation,good food, catching up.

Here’s the group. Photographed by our server Daniel McCormick at Mitchell’s Fish Market, Waterfront, Homestead PA. November 5, 2014

The youngest member has taught at Greenfield for 25 years already and is still teaching third grade.

I was the art teacher for 9 years.

There are just four of us in the trenches still, two at Greenfield now.  See below.

All of others have retired although a couple go in to substitute.  And there are a couple of spouses in the shot.

Thanks Daniel for photographing us after the dinner.   I’ll get an exact total of years taught.

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Lara and Josie still at Greenfield K-8.

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Allen School Memories- 1956-57 Guest Blog

 

 

My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School

Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956.  Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk.  It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me.  I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven.  I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates.  We followed each other to junior and senior high school.  Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again.  At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand.  Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.

The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik,  our physical education and health teacher.  Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion.  She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning.  Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher.  She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China.   Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!

Allen School closed in 1961.  The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School.  However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place.  On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that.  Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward.  Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them.  Oh, I almost forgot!  Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System!  I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle.  “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.

 

 (Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the  striped shirt!)

 

Allen School 1956 _1957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vETERANS dAYThe view from the top of the upright piano.

Friday at Pittsburgh Carrick High School, students read more than 65 names of Armed Forces alumni who served and died for their country.         WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq. Afghanistan.

Jeremiah played Taps from the back of the auditorium.  Our Spanish teacher played the piano while another teacher sang God Bless America. There were family members who told stories about their service member who passed.  It was a poignant ceremony.  The students did a wonderful job, reading not only their names but where the member had served, their decorations and where they died.

A couple of alums who were  Korean War Veterans spoke as well.    I photographed the event and was deeply touched.

Thank a Teacher

On this  night before a new school year is about to start and the summer vacation and family visits are memories,  I was thinking about why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.

I’m writing and posting these photos to pay tribute to wonderful teachers in my life.

In the 3rd grade I had an excellent teacher Grace Wagner from Dravosburg PA  who taught at Winchester- Thurston.   I found an alumni listing online Indiana PA Teachers College class of 1920.  Unfortunately I  can’t find the photo I have of her but plan to unearth it and post someday soon.  Who wouldn’t love a teacher who wrote this about their student.  I found it tonight in an envelope addressed to my parents, inside a deteriorating leather scrapbook.  Isn’t her handwriting beautiful? I am so grateful I discovered this report tonight before  school starts.  “she is able to put her gifts to good use” she wrote.  I feel encouraged once again as I hear her voice as I read the words she wrote in 1960-1961

Miss Wagner marked a 1 ( outstanding) for Play Spirit on the report card.   They don’t have that category on report cards anymore.

 

School Report

 

 

 

And here is Winona Stewart from Morris Plains Borough School in New Jersey.

Winona Stewart

In the sixth grade and also in the 7th and 8th grade I had a most wonderful teacher- Winona Stewart.  We had a Roman Banquet and she read The Human Comedy by William Saroyan aloud after lunch, and also The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford.  Every week we memorized a poem and recited it- The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth is one I remember well.   I took this photo of Mrs. Steward in 1966, the year I graduated from 8th grade.  When I lived in Germany and my own kids were young in the early 80’s, I found an address and wrote her a thank you note and told her how I remembered her reading aloud to our class and how she influenced my choice to get a Masters in Reading.  She wrote a beautiful note back to me and one of these days I bet I unearth it, too.  She collaborated with the next teacher I am going to mention.  We did a show called The Curse of Ra  as we learned about Egypt making a gold sarcophagus of papier mache and I was a dancing girl.  It all seemed so exciting and wonderful and fun!

Mr G.  is why I wanted to be an art teacher.  I had him in grade school AND High School.  I didn’t try to contact him soon enough as he was deceased when I though of it.

Arthur W Guenther.  He produced a movie with our 4th grade class called Around the World in 90 Minutes. I was from the Netherlands and we used real wooden shoes in the tulips.   I got a bit part in the French segment too, standing by a Kiosk, chatting away.  I remember Starr Kenyon went down the slide as if skiing.  Titi Moglia wore a kimono and had a fan and there were pink tissue paper cherry blossoms.  I wish I could see the movie again.

When I think of all his creativity,  I am in awe.

Mr. Guenther danced on Broadway in the show South Pacific with Mary Martin and showed us his scrapbook,

Arthur Guenther

 

Around the World in 90 Minutes

Mr. Guenther helped finish the monochrome portrait of me in 4th period oil painting class.  It hangs in my bathroom.

My granddaughter Anna asked this past week, “Why are you all green?:  and I started thinking about Mr Guenther and how he inspired me.

And here I am tonight, wondering if I can inspire someone as I start my new classes.

 

Ruth HEndricks Portrait

 

 

My father, Roy J. Hendricks (b. 1912-d.2002) was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois

Roy Hendricks Teacher

 

 

 

My mother Marian VanSickle (b. 1912- d. 2000)  was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois  That is my mom in the back row on the left.

Marian VanSickle

 

What teacher inspired you?