Influential Teachers, Classmates
(Page 6 of 8)
Not everything Mrs. Lanterman did was pleasing to us, though. For example, one day when we wrote on the sidewalks with chalk, she handed us a bucket of water and a brush, and told us to wash it all off. We did as we were told, hoping our mom would never find out. Unfortunately, she did.
At the end of each school year, Mrs. Lanterman threw a class party, in which she supplied all the refreshments, which was quite a sacrifice in those days. She also told every class that it was a pleasure to teach them. Each year, my mother sent a note thanking her for teaching whichever child was in third grade that year. We later found out that Mrs. Lanterman kept every note Mom wrote to her.
When our mom passed away in 2001, Mrs. Lanterman came to the funeral. She remembered all of our names and talked to each of us. We were fortunate to have Mrs. Lanterman for a teacher, but more importantly to have her as our friend.
Alice - Lincoln, Illinois
Compliment Boosted Teen’s Self-Esteem
I attended high school in McPherson, Kansas, from 1934 to 1938, and one classmate especially stands out in my mind. Her name was Jean, and she was pretty and wealthy. She lived in a beautiful home I called a mansion, and my family lived in an apartment.
I sat behind Jean in one of our classes, and I was in awe of her because she had her hair fixed at a beauty salon every Friday. She was nice and polite, and she always spoke to me when we passed each other in the hall. One day when we passed in the hall, after speaking, I smiled at her. Suddenly and surprisingly, she said, “Susan, you sure do have pretty teeth.” Imagine someone like her, who has everything, complimenting someone like me. I will never forget her, because she helped boost my self-esteem.
Susan - St. Joseph, Missouri
Grateful to Sister’s Teacher
Back in the 1940s, my little sister’s grammar school teacher, Miss Noel, was putting on a play in the school’s auditorium, and my mother asked me to take my sister to the rehearsals after school. Miss Noel asked me one day if I would like to help. I was shy, so I was reluctant at first, but I finally agreed.
I stayed in the background and only came forward when Miss Noel needed me, which became more often each day. I didn’t realize that she was trying to help me get over being shy and teaching me to interact with others. Soon my shyness diminished, and it felt good.
On the day of the play, one of the girls lost her voice, and Miss Noel asked me to fill in for her. I knew every line and every song in the play, and I had somewhat come out of my shell, but I wasn’t sure I could stand up in front of a crowd and sing. However, Miss Noel knew exactly what to say to encourage me, and although I was shaking like a leaf, I did it.
That was a big turning point in my life. I was in junior high school and knew there would be a lot of oral presentations in front of my classmates. Miss Noel had come along in the nick of time, and I wasn’t even her student. I give her credit for my doing well in school from that day forward.
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