Tough teachers are ones we remember

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I remember very well the first day of school the year I started third grade at Monitor School in Coal Grove. My teacher for the year was Mrs. Hall, straight up the stairs and turn to the right.

Our first assignment was to write a paragraph on the subject, “What do I want to accomplish in the third grade.”

Well, right away my “wisecracking” ways took over my mind. I wanted to make straight As on my report card and kiss a girl by the end of the year, I wrote.

Email newsletter signup

My grades entering into third grade were terrible, especially in skills such as writing, spelling, and behavior. math and science, not so bad.

As Mrs. Hall looked over my paper. I saw a twinkle in her eye, as she looked at the paper, at me, and again at the paper. “Oh no,” I thought, “this is not going well.”

Mrs. Hall had me working hard all year. “Write this again,” she would say. “Work on that handwriting. Is that how to spell this word? Really? You had better look that word up!”

Every six weeks we received our report cards. After the first six weeks, I had received all As except for one B.

Mrs. Hall had me hooked and she knew it. Every time report cards came out, I grew more excited. But every time it was all As except for one B.

And to make matters worse, the B would be in a different subject each time.

Work hard on the B subject, get an A on it, but get a B on something else.

I am sure Mrs. Hall saw the look in my eyes every time I found a B on my report card. After all, that twinkle in her eyes would reappear too.

Just one B each time would keep me working harder.

Finally, the third grade was over. On the last day of school, I opened my report card. Last chance of the year! Inside were straight As. And there was the twinkle in Mrs. Hall’s eyes.

I never looked back. My grades throughout the rest of school were good. One teacher, making a real difference.

Thanks Mrs. Hall. And Mrs. Hall, if you are reading this, I have to come clean on one thing. I also kissed a girl that year, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Michael Campbell is a former Lawrence County resident who now calls Statesville, N.C., home.