Sunday, March 23, 2014

School ..Weekly Family History Question

Question 14: Where did you go to school? What was school like for you?

Here are the schools I attended:
K-4th grade: Andalucia Elementary, Phoenix, Arizona
5-6th grade: Barcelona Elementary, Phoenix, Arizona
7-8th grade: Andalucia Elementary (it was K-8), Phoenix, Arizona
9-12th grade: Independence High School, Glendale, Arizona
College: Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, BS in Elementary Education

For the most part, I loved school. I was a conscientious student; I loved to read; math came easily to me; and I loved my teachers. My teachers were K: Ms. Lovig, 1st: Mrs. Grigg, 2nd: Mrs. Williams, 3rd: Mrs. Powell, 4th: can't remember...need to look up what her name was, maybe Mrs. Cortez?, 5th & 6 th: Mrs. Garant. 7th and 8th: I don't recall all of them but I remember Mr. Bode (science), Mrs. Axton (counselor and language arts), Mrs. Owens: home ec. High school there were a lot but I have strong memories of Mrs. Hinderland, Mrs. Bunch-Smith and Mrs. Dickson (all English teachers), Mrs. Eul and Mrs. VanDyke (math..and Mrs. VanDyke was also student council advisor), Ms. Petty and Mrs. Buffington (history/government...I also remember a male world history teacher that used a yard stick a lot but can't recall his name), SeƱorita Landrum (Spanish, of course), Mr. Breeze (biology), and I can picture my chemistry and physics teachers but don't recall their names. College I won't even try to list all the names...too many to remember and the relationship changes in college, for the most part.

A few memories that stand out. I remember being very shy and often sitting on the sidelines and watching the other kids play in kindergarten. I enjoyed it...but I think it worried my teacher sometimes that I must be loney or sad. I wasn't. I was pretty advanced in kindergarten and they talked to my parents about having me go to 1st grade in the morning and then kinder in the afternoon. My parents asked me what I wanted and I said that I wanted to come home and play with my sisters after a half day of school and that while I knew most everything they taught in kinder, it was okay. I would go to school all day the next year. And so that is what I did. I respect and love that they allowed me to be part of the decision making process...and a few years later when my youngest sister was turning 5 in September and could either start that year (by testing in since she was after the cut off date) or wait a year, they asked what she wanted to do. One thing I really struggled with in kindergarten? Skipping! When I was in kindergarten the report card included skills like hopping, walking on a balance beam and skipping. I could not skip. I really worried that I would not get that passed off on my report card before kindergarten ended...but I learned just in the nick of time!

I remember being in school and watching the space shuttle Challenger take off. We were all so excited that a school teacher, Christa McAuliffe, was on board. And then shocked and devastated when it exploded right after lift off. It was January 28, 1986 (had to look up the date...my memory is not THAT good) and I was almost 10...my 10th birthday was two weeks later...I was in 4th grade).

Another sad memory occurred on August 16, 1987, (again had to look up the date). Flight 255 crashed in Michigan. My first grade teacher, Linda Grigg, and her husband, Kail Grigg, were on that flight. It was so sad. I cried, knowing that my beloved first grade teacher was gone. She was 40...about the age I am now. She had children. In fact, she had a daughter that was about my age. She had brought her daughter on a field trip with us once or twice in first grade. My heart ached for these children that were now orphaned. I still think about that plane crash, which had only one survivor, and hope that Mrs. Grigg's children are okay.

In fifth and sixth grades I went to a different school. I was bussed there for a full time gifted program. My teacher, Mrs. Garant, was an amazing teacher....the kind of teacher I would like to be (but really don't feel like I can be in this climate of testing and accountability). I remember as much about those two years as about any four or five years before or after. She made learning come alive. We did a lot of reading and writing, but we also did a lot of experiments and simulations and hands on activities and problem solving and brainstorming and creative thinking. We worked with a team and had to remove all the fat and skin from a chicken carcass, disassemble and reassemble it... We did simulations about the Gold Rush, the Oregon Trail, the Civil War. History came to life as we picked roles and then made decisions about what to do in the simulation. Some decisions led to great success...others to very difficult circumstances. And it felt like you were there, living through the historical events.

My favorite project came after studying several ancient civilizations. We learned about archaeology and how they piece together history using artifacts. Then the class was divided into two groups. Each group had to invent a culture...their clothing, food, language, religion, arts, and so on. Then we had to create artifacts to represent these parts of our culture. Then our teacher got permission for us to dig two huge holes in the playground where we deposited our artifacts and carefully buried them. Then thousands of years later (after a weekend), we became archaelogists and carefully dug up the other group's artifacts and use them to decipher their civilization. This was so engaging and fun and taught us so much.... I am sure that this is what led me to take so many anthropology classes in college.

Well, I have written a lot and have only made it to 6th grade....and only touched the highlights. So I will write about junior high and high school next week.