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.
And here is Winona Stewart from Morris Plains Borough School in New Jersey.
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,
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.
My father, Roy J. Hendricks (b. 1912-d.2002) was a teacher in a one room school in Illinois
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.
What teacher inspired you?
What wonderful teachers did you have when you were growing up?