My 3rd grade teacher was the best teacher I’ve ever had. 3rd grade was special because I was one of the “chosen.” Adams Elementary, the school I went to, was not big enough to hold all of the kids in 3rd grade so they had to bus some of us to McDonald elementary. They picked 25 Adams Elementary 3rd graders and created a 3rd grade class at McDonald for us. We would all meet at Adams in the morning and the entire class would be bused to McDonald every day. Our teacher was Mrs. Steir.
She was young, probably in her twenties and I remember her being very pretty. She had the really cool flipped-back hair that was the style at the time. She was also really cool. Star Wars came out that year (Episode IV) and everyone was crazy about it (of course. I don’t need to tell YOU that). As a surprise she had her husband build a spaceship reading lounge for the class. It was really amazing. I also remember one day, for reader’s theater, we did a scene from Star Wars. We were so stoked. She really knew how to tap into what we loved and were interested in and teach us from that place. Because of this we all excelled and did very well that year.
This was the year that I wrote an essay called “What freedom means to me” and won an award for it! I still have the handwritten essay somewhere. I will try to find and share. When I rediscovered it as an adult I laughed until I cried because it was so hilarious.
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When I was in 3rd grade, one afternoon on the playground, the girls in my class formed the, “I hate Carol club.” I’m not sure why. Carol was a friend of ours. We all hung out with her regularly. I think there might have been a fight between Carol and another girl and the other girl decided to form this club behind Carol’s back. Somehow, like sheep, we were convinced that we needed to form this group because Carol was a horrible person and needed to be shunned.
Or maybe we were afaid of being shunned ourselves and went along with it.
Regardless, I remember thinking the whole thing was dumb. I knew that Carol felt bad, playing on the playground by herself. I was sure that she could see the sneers of her female classmates and I’m sure it made her sad.
I had an idea. I told the other girls that I would be a spy for them. This way I could still be friends with Carol and also be friends with the “I hate Carol club” girls.
I thought this was such a great idea at the time. But in retrospect I wish I would have had the guts to tell these girls how mean they were being.
It’s crazy, the things kids will do to fit in.
In the end, Carol and this other girl made up and all was right with our group again. And if I recall correctly, this all took place during the after-lunch recess one day.
This memory popped into my head today after reading about some online drama. Yeah. This shit still happens, even when we are adults.