I found this blog prompt, “Write a post about your third grade teacher” at Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, and decided to run with it.
Mrs. Quick and GATE
My third grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Quick. She had perfectly curly hair that always seemed to be right in place. Never messy. She was the teacher for the GATE class.
In the elementary school I was attending, third grade was a special year, as this was the year where a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class was offered. We were tested in 2nd grade, and then invited to join the class if we had high enough scores.
When I was invited to be in Mrs. Quick’s GATE class, I remember feeling special because this was an invite only class, but I do not remember thinking it was that big of a deal.
Upon reflection, now that I’m a parent, if a GATE class was offered and my child was placed in it, I’m sure I would just be overflowing with gushiness and bubbling with pride over the fact that my little one conquered a big scary test and received an invite. :0
I’d probably buy them a special candy bar or take them out for an ice cream while gushing more over them.
See the difference? As a parent, we tend to go a bit overboard with emotion, whereas, in a child’s brain, its just neat to be in the class. I think this is due to the extreme exhaustion that we all must endure as parents of young children.
I’m just so overwrought with fatigue most of the time, brain fog sets in and I tend to become unhinged with emotion a bit (ok, a LOT) more than in my younger years. At least, that’s my read on it.
Mrs. Quick was very business like and ran her class with great precision and skill, much a like a drill sergeant. Drill sergeant in the best sense of the word.
Mrs. Quick was one of my most favorite teachers ever. I believe that the stricter teachers are the ones you end up liking the most.
Strict teachers are similar to parents who enforce rules at home. With strictness and rules and routines, kids ultimately feel more loved and learn quickly the value of respect for others. Rules and routines show the child that someone cares a lot about their well being and wants to ensure they remain on the best path.
I remember there were several very fancy kites hanging in Mrs. Quick’s third grade classroom. One of them was a long Chinese dragon kite. The kind you see at Chinese New Year’s parades.
One day, Mrs. Quick was leading us in a very serious discussion about how our general behavior was out of line that day. She was not happy with us.
There was too much talking during class and general rowdiness that day, and she was trying to impart on us the value of respect and order in the classroom.
Well, during this very somber discussion, Rob (one of my classmates) raised his hand and asked Mrs. Quick where she got the Dragon Kite on the wall.
We were being scolded by a very tough teacher, and literally in mid sentence, Rob rose his hand very politely and asked his very off point question.
I still remember this moment quite vividly, because I thought we were going to get in even more trouble.
Trouble like, recess being taken away for a week kind of trouble. :0
But, thats not how it turned out. It turns out that the question was so innocent, it was difficult to not smile.
It was so clear that Rob was just so completely overtaken by the detail in this kite, he just had to raise his hand.
Couldn’t control it.
In fact, his innocence and curiosity was just the sweetest thing ever.
It was so sweet that Mrs. Quick even smiled.
A big wide smile.
You know the kind of smile where you are genuinely touched. Well, it was that. She also looked down and shook her head, while smiling and chuckling a bit.
We were all very relieved.
Mrs. Quick then went on to talk about where she found the kite and the significance of this type of kite in Chinese New Year’s celebrations.
It turned out to be a fascinating discussion, and we were able to continue our regularly scheduled recesses. Phew.
I remember really growing this year and maintaining a huge respect for Mrs. Quick and other teachers like her throughout my school career. They really do contribute enormously to creating respectful and hard working individuals.
Whenever I see fancy kites, especially dragon kites, I think of her and that particular classroom discussion. 🙂