With the new school year upon us, I hope that the students, teachers and staff will be able to enjoy a great school year.
I have seen photos of my nieces, nephews and cousins on their first day of school. They look great, sporting their new haircuts and hair styles and are proudly carrying their new back packs. They are dressed in their brand new school clothes and favorite tennis shoes. The students’ faces and smiles are filled with excitement, happiness and hope for a fantastic school year ahead.
I remember being a teacher and the excitement and nervousness I would feel on the first day of a new school year. I remember meeting my very first student, Opal Ross, at Crain Middle School in 1977. She was in seventh grade and I was a brand new teacher at age 23. Opal asked me how to get to the gym and showed me her schedule and asked me if I knew Ms. Post. I laughed and said “That’s me!” Opal flashed a huge, beautiful smile and we laughed together and then headed to the gym. What a special memory.
Oh my gosh, the excitement and adrenaline the students and teachers feel on the first day of school. I still miss the excitement of a new school year, entering the nice, shiny hallways of the school, with all of the hopes the school year brings.
New beginnings are so important and uplifting for people of all ages. In children, there is so much excitement in entering prekindergarten, first grade or maybe third, seventh or ninth grade.
Memories are being made and children are learning from their teachers and peers. Teachers are also learning from their students and peers.
I remember my fourth grade teacher, Sister Marie, who took us to San Antonio for a science fair. I remember growing crystals, polishing rocks, science and projects. Sr. Marie’s influence lead me to become a science teacher. She chose me to be the “coach” of the fourth grade softball team, which was made up of boys and girls. I got to choose who played and in which positions. All of the boys and girls ran up to me on the morning of the game and asked me which positions they were going to play. How exciting was that. We in fourth grade played the sixth grade girls team and won.
I loved my school, Nazareth Academy, which was grades 1-12. So many wonderful Sisters influenced my life. There are so many that I can’t mention all of their names but I thank them all for the positive influence they had on my life. Some Sisters who are at Incarnate Word Convent now and who taught me are Sr. Carmelita, religion; Sr. Anna Marie, algebra; Sr. Mary Virginia, homemaking; Sr. Mildred, biology; and and Sr. Alberta, principal. Thank you, Sisters.
I really chose to become a teacher in seventh grade when I saw my favorite teacher, Sr. Raphael Rose Stewart, teaching the high school girls a basketball play in the gym. I remember peeking in through a small window standing on my tip toes, to see them all having fun and learning. At that moment, I decided to become a teacher.
I hope that all the teachers and students have the lovely memories that I was blessed with attending my alma mater, Nazareth Academy.
May all students and teachers have a wonderful school year and learn from each other. I hope they make meaningful memories, as I did as a student, a teacher and coach. May God bless each of you.
A great Bible scripture is Matthew 9:35: “Jesus went about … teaching…”
As this new school year begins, I hope that all of the retired teachers and staff have activities that they look forward to in their lives. May God bless each of them.