This time of year I always get reflective. With the school year coming to an end, I think about the year, and if I reached every kid like I could've. All in all, it has been a great year. I can't wait to watch these kids grow, and see what and who they become.
I also got an invitation to gradation at the first school I ever taught at. (My first graduating class) Which took me way back to being 22 and fresh out of college. At that time, Oklahoma was in a hiring freeze. Most schools weren't even paying their subs. That led me to look for jobs in Texas. I interviewed in Ferris, TX with Mrs. Ofelia Grass. She was just crazy enough to hire me. The week after their spring break, I went to sign my contract, and had a curveball thrown a me. They wanted me to start immediately. They had a teacher who had left. I had a week to find and rent an apartment, and move all my stuff to Texas. To say it was a sink or swim situation would be the understatement of the year. No one tells you teaching really isn't much like student teaching, but somehow I made it through and maybe actually taught the kids something in the process. My real experience didn't start til the next year, My first full year, so I got to set the ground rules the way I wanted. Luckily I had an awesome team to help me.
There are lots of funny memories that year. Mostly questions that were asked....specifically in Science. I remember being asked how we could be mammals if his mom laid him and he hatched from an egg? How do you answer a question like that? One day, we went to the Science Place, and I was in the bathroom with a group of my girls. As we were washing our hands, one student said, "Miss Ownbey, you mean we gotta pay 25 cents to get a napkin?" So, the first year was a year to learn how to answer or avoid questions where you wouldn't step on anyones toes.
In every class, there is at least one student that you know you will always remember, that year I had two. The first was Camry Butler. Camry did not like to read, but I made it my pesonal mission to find books that would peak her interest. After many failed attempts, I was finally successful.
Then there was Kyndel Ross. She was very wise for her age. Maybe a bit of an old soul. I bonded with both of these girls. Took them to pizza and movies, and when I found out Camry was afraid of he water, I spent the summer giving her swimming lessons.
One of the hardest things I had to do was tell them that I was not returning to Ferris the next year. I felt like God was calling me back to Ardmore. That was 7 years ago.... I kept in touch with Camry, but through the wonders of facebook, I just got back in touch with Kyndel. She paid me the biggest compliment saying I was the best teacher a kid could have. Makes me remember why I do what I do, and makes me excited to see where all my ther students will go, and who they will become.