Definitely VIP’s! Edith Yowell was my first-grade teacher and Nellie Millar, my second-grade teacher. No kindergarten for me…in fact I don’t think they even had kindergarten in Reydon, Oklahoma in 1958. I mean, it was in the day of outhouses (fortunately we had indoor plumbing!). We did, however, have some neighbors who still had a dirt floor in their house.
My first day of school was a memorable one; I can remember the excitement of being a little kid embarking on some kind of great adventure. I met a bunch of new friends and some of them are still friends today. I’m pretty sure on the first day of school we got handed the book, “Tip”. It was a story about a dog. When we finished that one it was “Tip & Mitten”; a dog and a cat this time. Then not long after those it was “Fun With Dick and Jane”. Still remember those vividly.
My Mom and Dad already had me in the mode to read so I just devoured “Tip”, and “Tip & Mitten”. “Fun With Dick and Jane” was a little more challenging, of course, but I was really learning to read now. As I look back, and think back, it seems apparent that these two teachers had an incredible impression on me. I think there are several things that they taught and imparted but the most important thing I got from them was the desire to be a ‘reader’. Somehow they instilled in me the desire to read and that reading was fun, enjoyable and, almost always, productive. It’s a desire that I still have today! I’d definitely advise parents to instill the need to read in their kids. They’re going to have to be reading their whole lives. And to be a good reader just does nothing but good!
Writing is something that I really enjoy these days. I think I’ll be doing it for a long, long time. I can’t help but think how valuable to me Mrs Yowell and Mrs. Millar were to this process. I can’t say enough good about good teachers; they’re not paid enough in my books and their job isn’t easy. They have a tremendous responsibility….and opportunity, for that matter. I had some really good ones….maybe I’ll write something about them later. But, I’m extremely grateful for Edith Yowell and Nellie Millar! They got me headed in the right direction. They were some great ones!!