Thursday, February 12, 2009
Around February I always think about how I loved this time of the school year when I was growing up. Because the dead of winter, when teachers were busy trying to keep us occupied with various indoor activities, is what I lived for. I loved the Valentine crafts, the classroom murals, and the special projects that were all part of the days when the weather was cold. I hated wasting time outside during warm-weather recess when I could be painting or designing or creating something inside.
My favorite teachers remain the ones that recognized my creative side and nurtured it. Mrs. Crozier, my 5th grade teacher, put me in charge of decorating the outide of the door to our classroom - the side facing the hallway - every month. It was totally up to me to choose a theme and execute whatever it was I planned, from pumpkins in October to daffodils in April. As soon as I had one done I'd spent hours thinking about how I would transform our portal for the next month, and the joy I had in making over those doors was something I still remember. I worried and fussed and planned, and then basked in the glow of the praise when it was complete.
Mrs. Webb, my 6th grade teacher, encouraged me to take charge of special event projects for the class. How would I design wall hangings for the history project, she might ask, or what did I think would be a good way to decorate the bulletin boards? I'm so grateful to those teachers who were kind enough to encourage my creativity. I was in heaven when they'd let me stay in from recess so I could complete one ofmy indoor projects, alone in the classroom.
I only wish my high school guidance counselors had been as insightful at leading me in the right direction! Had I been encouraged to go off to school to become an interior designer instead of a music teacher I may have actually succeeded at getting some sort of degree! Instead I was a drop out before I even got started and now I look back and wonder "what if?".
I don't believe in living life with regrets so those moments are fleeting and I've had a wonderful life. My creative energies have had many outlets over the years. But I can't help thinking back now to those early years when the weather was cold and teachers everywhere are looking for ways to entetain their students within the confines of the classroom. I'm so glad some were wise enough to give one little girl some much-needed self esteem by letting her know she had something to offer.