I was painfully shy as a child. In fact, for the first five years of my life I thought my name was "Myanna" because that's how my mother would refer to me: "That's my Anna hiding behind the chair." or "My Anna is over in the corner." etc. Anna is my middle name by the way. My Dutch mother named me Jennifer Anna not realizing that people would shorten Jennifer to Jen or Jenny. Once she realized it she insisted I be called by my middle name since you can't really shorten Anna or you get a different name completely (Dutch logic!).
I absolutely hated my name growing up - I always thought if I had a "cooler" name than Anna I would be more outgoing/popular etc. I started going by Jennifer in college, but it never really stuck because my family still called me Anna. When I met my husband he told me that Anna did not suit me (smart man!) and he has steadfastly introduced me as "Jenn" to everyone for the past 13 years even though my family continues to call me Anna lol!
By the way, my mom had also inexplicably given me the same uneven bowl cut as my brother. I also didn't smile much because of my teeth. I had fallen and jammed my front teeth back up into my gums (running in patent leather shoes is not a good idea!) and when they eventually came back down they were crooked. Here's a picture, detailing the horror of late 70's fashion lol:
Anyways, that was me, painfully shy and name confused. When I entered kindergarten on my first day of school, I desperately wanted to please.
Except that we had desks.
That were all lined up in rows.
You know, those rows that never stay straight and the desks that are forever scootching so that they aren't perfectly aligned any more?
Well I wrapped my little fingers along the edge of the desk and tried to scootch it back into place. At the same time, the child next to me scooted their desk and my fingers got pinched between the two desks - hard! And I cried out - loudly - and got yelled at by my teacher.
I was absolutely mortified and tried to explain but she cut me off and scolded me for raising my voice in class. There was never a reason to be so loud! I was so miserable after that, I didn't think I would ever recover, I just sat in my chair with my fingers throbbing and tried not to cry. I don't remember anything else specifically from that year but I do remember always feeling embarrassed and anxious- as if that first day set the tone for the whole year.
In first grade, my clearest memory is of being in a small reading group. I think we were some type of birds - I have a vague memory of not being one of the "cool birds" and realizing I was not in the smart group. I was supposed to be reading silently, and the teacher was working with a different group. But I had to go to the bathroom, bad! I held it as long as I could and then raised my hand to ask permission to go to the bathroom. I got scolded for interrupting small group time. I held it another few minutes and then got out of my chair and approached the teacher to ask again. She got really upset this time and sent me to the hallway for time out.
I sat in the hallway and realized that I couldn't hold it any more. So I snuck my hand back in the door and grabbed the hallway stick and scooted to the bathroom. I had barely gotten in the stall when another child from class came barreling in the restroom, yelling that the teacher had said I better get back to class right now. Well I was torn between using the toilet first or going back to class and I ended up having an accident right there in the stall. I was so humiliated. I had to tell the other girl that I wet myself, she went and told the teacher and I got sent to the office to sit and wait for my grandmother to bring me some clean clothes. When my grandmother got there I got a big scolding from her too!
So there you have it. The first two years of grade school, remembered because of embarrassment. I think those two incidents really defined me as a teacher - I never ever want to humiliate or embarrass a child the way I was!
One of the first things I do at the beginning of the year is go over bathroom procedure. The bathroom is actually part of the scavenger hunt at the Meet the Teacher night before school! I want to make sure everyone knows where it is :)
In my class, students only have to ask to use the bathroom if we're at carpet doing a whole group lesson. If they're at their seats working independently, they just go whenever they need to without asking. If we're at carpet they raise a hand with "w" (three fingers) for washroom, or do the sign language sign for "r r" which stands for restroom. These silent hand signals let me just nod to the child without interrupting the flow of the lesson.
Oh, and I only have tables in my room - no scootching desks for me!
Now go head over and link up - tell me how your school memories impact you as a teacher!