Like most of us, I had a lot of teachers growing up. From Kindergarten to my senior year and beyond. I don’t think I could name all the teachers I had growing up. There was that one music teacher who came from the High School to substitute for our normal music teacher. He desperately tried to teach us the names of the notes on the scale, but we just couldn’t get it. One day, he yelled at us for at least ten minutes about how this note is an “A” because it’s on this line of the scale and this one is a “C” because it’s on that line and how was that so difficult for us to understand! Of course, after yelling at us about this he decided to call on the most timid and shy student in the room to identify the next note. After having been yelled at, I was so rattled and upset there was no way I was going to get it right. I didn’t. He yelled again. We never saw him after that day. Obviously, he couldn’t bring himself down to the cognitive level of elementary students and we broke him.
Most of my teachers were pretty good at their jobs, though, but the one who has always stood out to me was my First grade teacher. Mrs. Copus was as kind as she was patient. In those days, we learned to read in First grade. Kindergarten was only a half day and there we learned the letters. First grade was the time for putting those letters together into words. I struggled with learning to read. However, Mrs. Copus stayed with me and led me through the hardest parts until eventually it just clicked. I have never stopped reading since. I even became a reading specialist because of her so I could help students like me find the joy in reading.
But the biggest lesson I learned from Mrs. Copus was how to write correctly as a left-handed person. Not very many teachers even think about the lefties, let alone teaching them how to write correctly, especially in those days, but Mrs. Copus did. She sat us all together and showed us how to position our papers and hold our pencils just right so we could write without getting our hands dirty and yet write legibly. The funny thing is that I didn’t really know that this wasn’t a special thing that she did for us until I was actually a teacher and had left-handed students of my own who were writing incorrectly. I investigated this travesty and that’s when I found out that most teachers don’t even know how to help their lefty students. And it wasn’t because Mrs. Copus was left-handed. I checked. She was just special that way.
Because of Mrs. Copus and so many other great teachers I developed a lifelong love of learning. That’s why I’m so excited about the classes we are starting up at the HUB. Starting September 12th, we will have Make-n-Take Monday classes, where we will be taught a different skill or craft by someone from the community who is willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us. These are stand-alone classes and each Monday night will be something new. So start looking for the Make-n-Take Monday classes on the Augusta Locally Grown website and sign up to learn some great new skill you wish you knew.
Also, if you have a skill you would like to share, let me know and I’ll make sure to get you on the schedule!