By: Ellen Wentz
I love it when students come back to visit me. I love the way they look around the room to see what is the same and what has changed. They always look for their favorite feature of the classroom and are thrilled if it is still there. I have two things in particular that are the favorites; a squirrel skin and classroom bleachers. The squirrel skin was given to me by a former student. He was home from college and his mother had him clean out his room. When he saw the skin he remembered all of his second grade show and tells that were usually items gained on a hunting trip. He brought it to me, we hung it by the alphabet, on the bulletin board and it has been there ever since! All my students ask about the squirrel and love to hear the story of how it earned its place of honor in the classroom. The classroom bleachers were awarded through a grant program. They are hand painted with storybook characters and accommodate the entire class. The children love to gather there for a variety of lessons and reading activities. They are a great place to share big books! Best of all I love it when my former students come to visit and tell me they miss me and I was their favorite teacher. That’s when I know I truly touched a life…that is what teaching is all about!
Ellen Wentz is a second grade teacher at St. Ann’s Catholic school in Charlotte, N.C. Her daughter, Amy Bumgarner, is one of the two pediatric occupational therapists behind the handwriting development program of Fundanoodle.