Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Teacher , Ms. Tschwerald

I would love to start this topic telling you a great tale of a teacher that changed my life forever. Like I said, I would love to...However,, I think we both know by now this little Blog likes to talk about topics and Things that actually Happen. 
Today we're going to take it back to 2nd grade. I went to grade school within a mile of my parents house. Sometimes I walked, but most times my Dad would drive me to school. They had the ugliest green car that had a history of Not wanting to start on a cold morning.
I couldn't tell you a Thing I learned in 2nd grade. Reading? Writing, Cursive? Who knows. But I Do know by second grade I learned how to start a car, and how to Spell Ms. Tschwerald
Yes, T-S-C-H-W-E-R-A-L-D. 
That was her trophy. That was her #1 lesson plan, and that was her absolute priority for everyone in her class to know how she spelled her name. Ridic. Ms. Tschwerald (pronounced Cheer-Wald) was a mid- 30's, single (come to think of it I don't even know her First name!!) tanorexic, Yes, TAN-orexic (and this was in the 80's people) woman that apparently got into teaching because, well, she started the program in college, and well, I guess just Had to finish it. She wore lots of gold jewelry and was always traveling to someplace to- get more tan, I'm sure. When she walked through the classroom, any evidence of air or breathing disappeared. She ruled her class with an iron first, all in plight to know her name. Yes, I was a 2nd grade girl frightened, completely paranoid, that I was not going to pass the 2nd grade! People!! am I right? What 2nd grader needs to be worrying about NOT passing 2nd Grade??! She even made matters worse by waiting, yes waiting until almost entirely through summer to selectively send envelopes to students that passed, or did not pass through to 3rd grade! And the last test of torture?! You had to Spell that Damn name back to her!!!
Unfortunately she comes in a group now of girls that I have known that hate being Teachers. Hold on people, I didn't say they were BAD teachers, I said they Hated teaching. Yes, it has been more commonplace for me to meet people  teaching others that, 1.Hate the Administration 2. Think the lesson plans being forced upon them are a waste of time, 3. Cannot stand the kids 4. Pick the parents apart for every thing they do and don't do. I put Tan Ms. T right in this batch. I'm not quite sure where the disconnect is, when you sign up to spend your day with 2nd graders, then get annoyed when they're not acting like adults.
A few years ago I stopped back at that grade school.
I had a younger sibling attending, and I thought it would be entertaining, traveling down memory lane. I stopped by the kindergarten room that I loved, and saw the same coat hooks I'd hang my slicker on. I saw the art easels and the same paint bottles lined up on the ledge. I saw Mrs. Dill's classroom and giggled about how I called her Mrs. Dill pickle (not amused)
And then I saw her, Tan Old Ms. T, that apparently never became a Mrs. Someone else.
She had a group of 2 staying late after class to,, wait for it..Yup. .Spell out her name. Thankfully the little one I was there to pick up wasn't in that batch. I barely recognized her, short and shriveled. Tragically(not) the tens of years of trips and tanning had taken a toll on her. She briefly looked away from her most important lesson plan in my direction. I spelled out her name, consonant after consonant,. She didn't recognize me, but I let her know, the only thing I ever learned from her was the linguistics of her last name.
 And that my friends, is more tragic to me, than the years of tanning, on old Ms. T.

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