In Appreciation of Mrs. Black

Do you ever have things pop into your head from many, many years ago? It happens to me all the time. I refer to them as “A Blast from the Past.” Tonight, I had one such “blast” and being as it’s Teacher Appreciation Week, I just had to share it.

When I was a kid, every August we’d get a postcard in the mail telling us who our teacher was going to be for the next year. It cost about 3 ¢ to mail a postcard back then so I guess the school considered it a good use of their funds. Anyway, when that fateful day arrived right before the start of my 3rd grade year the news wasn’t good. I was assigned to Mrs. Black’s class. There were stories about Mrs. Black and none of them were good. She was very strict (which is probably why they’d put me in her class) and I just knew from the get-go that this was gonna be bad.

I remember a little bit of a crying/tantrum session in the backyard. Such sessions are always so helpful yet never seem to change anything at all. But, that was not the worst thing I did in regards to my upcoming tour in Mrs. Black’s classroom. Oh no! I actually went to school on the first day (or so I’m told) and said to Mrs. Black, “I told my mother if I got your for a teacher I was going to kill myself.” My girlfriend says I am forthright but the truth is, I don’t always have a very good filter between my brain and my mouth! Well, in fairness to me, it’s better than you might think.

Anyway, once I declared my disdain and suicidal thoughts to Mrs. Black, I’m sure what she wanted to say was “Well then, what are you doing here because clearly you aren’t dead?” but she took a somewhat kinder route. She said (again, this story has been passed down as I don’t recall my rudeness), “Well, Nancy, I might not like having you in my class either.”

You may have guessed this by now, but I loved Mrs. Black. She was strict, but she was also kind and a great teacher. The one thing I do recall of third grade (without my mother’s help) is sitting inside during recess on the last day (or perhaps the second to last day) finishing up some reading assignments that I’d slacked off on. But, I don’t recall being bitter about that – probably because I got to be with Mrs. Black – who really was pretty cool after all.

So, as teacher appreciation week comes to a close I’d like to thank all of the teachers out there who work so diligently even when they might not feel very loved. And, a special thank you to Mrs. Black.