Since Mom was a teacher, she had to start the week before we did to get ready for her classroom of thirty fourth graders.
Sometimes I'd get to go along to help her arrange the books on the shelves, put the desks in line, put up the bulletin boards...you know, all those things a teacher does to get ready.
For the last several years before she retired, Mom taught at Woodward Elementary School.
That's her room. There, just to the right of the entry, on the second floor. Do you see it?
When she first started teaching there, it was before the renovations to make the building more energy efficient (this was in the late 60's - we didn't call it "green" back then!). The ceilings were 16 feet high, and the windows went from 9-year-old waist high all the way up. Big iron steam heaters lined the wall under the windows, with a shelf along the top of the heaters where Mom put plants. Mostly geraniums, if I remember right.
Before she taught here, there were two other schools in Kalamazoo: Oakwood and Roosevelt.
|Roosevelt School was torn down more than twenty years ago.|
Until then it was the focal point of the east side community.
Before we moved to Kalamazoo, she worked as a substitute teacher in Ohio and in Chicago, where Dad went to seminary.
Mom was the kind of teacher you don't see anymore - at least not very often. Schools were different back then - the concept of what education meant was different, too. But my mom was old fashioned, even then.
One tradition she continued up until the day she retired was story time. Every day after lunch, she read classic children's literature to her students. She introduced hundreds of children to Charlotte's Web, Little House on the Prairie, Stuart Little and more during her teaching career.
Fifteen minutes a day. Every day. Reading to children, some of whom had never had a book read to them before.
Of course, that wasn't the only tradition she kept. She also packed one of these in her lunch every day:
Mom didn't only teach her class of fourth graders, though. She also raised two children, played piano and organ at church, hosted countless people at our house for dinner or dessert, was a patient pastor's wife, and even put up with me.
|This, ladies and gentlemen, is called jealousy.|
Do you see the expression on my face?
And the discarded doll in the background?
Mom had to deal with that and much more!
Yes, Labor Day meant back to school, Mom going back to work, and everyone getting a little older.
|First Day of School|
I'm guessing this is around 1965
Labor Day this year is pretty quiet around our house - a rest from our labors :)
What are your Labor Day traditions? Or share your favorite memories....
And we'll enjoy a slice of Mom's favorite pie together in her honor: Custard!
Go to this re-run blog post for the recipe: Mom's Favorite Custard Pie
And enjoy your holiday!!!