Lifetime Lessons From A Grade School Teacher We All Can Learn

Lifetime lessons are taught daily but often we do not recognise them at the moment.

This was written several years ago but bears repeating at this time.

Lessons That Have Served A Lifetime

The intensity of our conversation was and is still a very positive experience. I can remember talking with my Mom (she was working at the kitchen table doing food prep) about starting to attend the public school like it happened yesterday.

lifetimeMy Mom, Dawn, was glad that I was heading off for his first day in Grade One. I too was very excited and pleased. Being the extrovert that I was and remain, the first day represented several things. Friends to be made, lessons to learn, teachers to meet, and things to experience.

Little did I know, however, that within the first three weeks of school my Grade One teacher, Miss Doris Patton, would quickly identify several things about me. Some have positively defined me and help me with career choices. Others would define a couple of attributes that in her words,

These will challenge Michael and hinder him. Perhaps, they will be hard on him during his time in school. However, he has skills and gifts, both in the classroom and in the playground, that will serve him well, once he leaves school.”

At the time, I know did not know how those words would later ring true. Seems yours truly has some interesting combinations of talents and “issues.”  I do not like, the fact is I have a strong disdain for, the common phrase or description of strengths and weaknesses. I am more of a “strengths and challenges” kinda person.

teacherWhat Miss Patton so quickly identified, a dedicated educator and very intuitive professional that she was, was my eye-hand coordination issue. Printing and writing to me were then and today remains a challenge.

“Slow down, practice more, not so fast, try another pen/pencil, try again… .”

How many hundreds of times did I hear those instructions during the first 10 years of school. Later in life, in a state of serious frustration, I bought a typewriter with Pica font 10 point and extended carriage! I am so sure that many of my teachers breathed a massive sigh of relief. They were now able to read what I put to paper!

The Lessons

She taught me many things. However, the skills and the lessons that I learned from Miss Patton have served me well over the years. They include:

  1. Pay attention to those around you. Each person has gifts that often exceed ours. Or, we might share some but use them in different ways.
  2. Pay attention to your intuition. Miss Patton figured this out about me in less than 20 days of classroom time. She was first-rate in her experience, attentiveness and intuition.
  3. Third lesson and biggest of them all: Stay respectful. One never knows what the other person or persons we are living next door to or working with are facing. I never felt less than with Miss Patton.

studentThis was a very big gift to give a child just starting out in school. Little did she know how much I would need to hang on to her words for Grade Two. But that is a story for another time. Miss Patton offered up to me untold patience, kindness and insights into my future and myself. I have always held her up as a first-rate example of what a teacher should be.

So until next time Imagine Yourself having more Resiliency for Life.


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