First Day of School

Public School started yesterday in our town. The smaller, Class B schools in our region started last week, as did the Catholic schools. The children next door were up early today and making a hullaballoo in the front yard in their excitement. Their parents are educators and administrators in the public schools. It was a big day.

I heard last evening from a music educator in my bell choir that one of her colleagues had a most exciting day, having two elementary boys decide to flash each other as soon as they got in the classroom, and another boy who came in the room with a gushing, bloody nose.

I remember being so excited the night before school started that I couldn’t sleep. My mother was a Grade 3 teacher, and loved her job and would have taught until she was 80 had she not been felled by MS. She adored her children and her classroom.

What is your most memorable first day of school? Who were the naughtiest children in your classes, and what naughty things did they do? Who was your favorite elementary teacher, and why?

25 thoughts on “First Day of School”

  1. I was always excited for the first day of school. Wish I could show you the pic of my first day of kindergarten – my mom had me dressed up in a little navy blue suit, complete with hat…

    There was a usually well-behaved kid in 3rd grade that grabbed my crotch once. Otherwise, I don’t remember any over-the top naughtiness. Hmmm, how can that be right?… maybe there’s stuff I didn’t know about.

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  2. Mrs. Remme was my Grade 3 teacher, and she had terrible handwriting and could care less how our handwriting looked, and I loved her for that, since practicing handwriting was the most boring thing I could think of doing. I, too, have always had terrible handwriting.

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  3. My mother once dragged a very naughty girl to the principal’s office while the girl was actually sitting in in her desk. Luckily the hallway floors were slippery and not carpeted.

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  4. I always loved the first day of school as well. I love school in general but first day of school with any new school supplies was always very exciting for me. Even to this day office supplies, pencils, pads, markers, folders, they all do it for me. Despite loving school, I can’t remember one single elementary school teacher that I liked. I only actively disliked the teacher I had for fifth and sixth grade but we moved around a lot so most of my elementary school teachers I never had for even for a full year.

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  5. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    When I was in the 6th grade, my class took a field trip to Wells Blue Bunny Dairy to see the dairy operations. We hiked the 5 blocks over there, saw the facility, spending a lot of time watch the cottage cheese vats and the giant paddles mixing it. They gave us samples—not of the ice cream we all wanted—but of cottage cheese. Jimmy Miller was mad so he spit in the cottage cheese vat, ruining gallons and gallons of cottage cheese. We hiked back to school with the teacher in firm command of his whereabouts. He was in so much trouble. However, he already spent most days with his desk in the hallway, so I don’t know what consequences he had. I cannot think of anything naughtier than that!

    Unfortunately, I found school pretty scary after my Kindergarten experience which was downright abusive to all 44 kindergarteners in all day kindergarten in 1958. If this kind of stuff happened now there would be a news crew or parent with a cell phone to film it and prosecute the teacher. I actually had developed a school phobia by second grade, and I would throw up every day. Finally, Aunt Donna helped me get to school and let me walk to her house for lunch at noon. That eased me into more positive experiences with school. It took a long time for me to learn to read. The anxiety about school got in the way.

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  6. My very first day at school, I cried all the way. Mum had to hold my hand to get me there. There were only two classes, and my teacher, Mrs. Frost, was nice, and brought in Miss Eastie’s big dog to try and stop me crying. Miss Eastie was the Headmistress and lived on the premises. I only did one term (semester) at that school, and then we moved. I don’t remember a single other thing about that term.

    Mrs Frost moved too, and was my teacher when I started at the next school. I don’t remember my first day there. Soon Mrs Frost left and was replaced by the horrible, strict Mrs Benn, who stayed until she retired, many years later.
    Stephen Frost, Mrs Frost’s son, was one year ahead of me when I went to Barnstaple Grammar School at age 11. He was a thug.

    My first day at Grammer School was terrifying, though I don’t specifically remember how. I hated school anyway and this one I hated more. I left the moment my exams were over, three weeks early, and went straight to the farm first thing in the afternoon, and turned hay. A very happy day, and I never for one moment of my life, regretted deliberately failing my exams.

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      1. Sorry no these were my GCE’s, the national exams which we took at age 16. I was able to leave at 16,but there. Was no way out of sitting the exams, my parents wouldn’t back me up. I told them I was going to just sit there and not answer the questions, but they didn’t believe it until they the results.
        In fact, I became so bored during English Language, that I doodled away at a couple of answers, and accidentally got a grade five, which was the minimum for a pass. Maybe I had a certificate, if so it would have meant nothing to me, and I didn’t keep it.
        I am happy with the drifting working life I led, and would do the same again, minus the truck driving, and a year or so in a contact lense factory, which I hated.

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  7. The Spanish parents or grandparents who take their kids to and from Junior school are liable to indulge in emotional hellos and goodbyes, often with a lot of hugging and kissing, which the kids have been brought up to tolerate. When Isaac was due to start at “College” (senior school) last year, at age 13, he was going to have to catch the bus just two minutes walk from here. I was detailed to escort him. He said no, you don’t have to come, no other parents will come. I said, of course they will, you know what it’ll be like, it’ll be sickening to watch all those parents slobbering over everyone. He maintained I was wrong, and Jane and I took no notice, we weren’t going to have people think we’d let him go two miles up the road without a proper fond farewell.
    So we got to the bus stop, and there were no parents, no grandparents, just me, feeling very English and conspicuous. Well I wasn’t backing down, so I sat down on a handy bench and waited for the bus, which wasn’t in any hurry. Feeling VERY conspicuous. I’ve never sat on this particular bench before. Isaac and the kids milled around doing what kids do, and I felt embarrassed for him, having such an embarrassing dad. Finally the bus came and I very casually beat it, fast. And have never returned to that bench. Ike said later, oh, no, nobody took any notice. You were just sitting on a bench. That’s what old people do, sit on benches.
    Not any more.

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  8. I cannot recall any first days at school.
    Mr. Olson, in fifth grade, was my favorite in elementary. He was the first male educator I ever had and we were his first class. Other than the custodian, he was the only male we ever saw at school. He was a science nut. He and I got to experiment with the dry ice that came with the daily milk breaks.
    My classmate, Chester, was a playground bully. Beating up people younger than himself was typical. Later, as an adult, he spent time in prison. Karma.

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  9. My first grade teacher was beloved by every one who knew her – all her students as well as parents. Our 5th and 6th grade teachers (sisters) were also very good but I didn’t get either of them. Two country schools merged into my town school and I had those teachers for 4th – 6th grade. The fourth grade teacher was crabby and mean – she rapped a lot of knuckles with a ruler and boxed a lot of ears, thankfully never mine. I ended up in mixed classes for 5th and 6th (4/5, and 5/6 – pretty much same students in both) with the other country school teacher. He was an older gentleman who was very nice but I don’t think he was very good as a teacher.
    There were a few bullies in elementary school but off hand I can’t think of specific things they did. A couple of them remained bullies through junior and senior high school.

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  10. Evening-
    I almost always liked school and my teachers. I don’t remember the first day in particular. Mom says I didn’t like one teacher, and hated school that year… I don’t even remember who that was, but mom didn’t like her either.
    Third grade was Mrs Kuntz, man, I had a crush on her. You know, the 9 year old Crush. And that was about 1974, so she’s wearing a mini skirt in the class photo. I didn’t know that then, but I sure liked her.

    Perhaps I have already talked about meeting a doc in the ER this spring who I went to high school with. Dennis. He defended me when I mouthed off to the local loudmouth.
    Said loudmouth was going to beat me up and Mr Dennis just stood up and told him to sit down and shut up. Thanks Dennis.

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  11. I loved school in general, and remember my first day of school ever vividly. I had turned seven in April, but didn’t get to start school in first grade until the middle of August, so I was good and ready to learn something.

    There were two things that stood out to me that day. First, the two first grades had been segregated into the “nice clean kids” and those who came from homes that were cleanliness was perhaps a bit of a challenge. I’m pretty sure there were other factors involved, but it was pretty obvious that we had not been arbitrarily placed in the class we were in.

    The second thing that struck me was that I’d have to rock the boat to get them to teach me anything. After we had squandered a couple of hours being introduced to the various teachers, informed of our daily schedule, the rules and expectations of behavior, and issued our books and other needed supplies, we were told we could go home.

    I was stunned. I had waited all this time to go to school, and they were not going to teach me anything? Despite my age, I didn’t know my letters or numbers or how to read, and I was determined not to leave until I had learned at least something, so I remained seated when the other kids grabbed their bags and left. My teacher, a sweet older woman, whose name I don’t remember, asked me why I wasn’t leaving, and I told her I wanted to learn something first. She said “alright,” pulled up a chair and sat down next to me. In my brand spanking new notebook, she wrote the letters a, b, and c, lower case in cursive, each letter on a different line. She showed me how to write each one, and told me to fill the page with them at home.

    I returned to school the following day having done my “homework.” I had filled several pages with glorious letters. A couple of months later, at the first parent/teacher conference, my mother voiced her concern over the amount of homework assigned to me. She was told my homework was my idea and completely voluntary. By the end of first grade I had mastered all twenty-eight letters in the Danish alphabet, in both upper and lower case cursive writing, and could read quite fluently.

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      1. Back then, 1950, six or seven was the norm in Denmark. Six, depending on when your birthday was, and whether or not you were considered mature enough to attend a full day of classes. If your birthday was in late July through the end of the year, you’d be allowed in at six. One of my high school class mates, Freya, was the only kid in my class younger than me. Her birthday is July 19th, and I had skipped fifth grade.

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  12. I don’t remember much about first days of school, except for kindergarten, and even that’s pretty fuzzy. I remember there were boys building something with blocks and a boy named Kenny was nice to me. Mrs. Anderson was the teacher, and she must have been doing something right, because I felt pretty secure there and in general peace and harmony prevailed.

    I think I liked all my teachers those first few years. I grew up with a generally positive attitude about school till much later, about seventh or eight grade, when I ceased to want to be there.

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