Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Second Grade

My second grade teacher was Mrs. Rigsby. Her dark hair was piled on top of her head in a late 1970s interpretation of the beehive. She read to us from chapter books after lunch. She'd move her teacher chair front and center with the green chalkboard as her background. It seemed like she always stopped just as we were getting to a good part. When she read us "Ribsy" by Beverly Cleary I lived in fear of accidentally calling her Mrs. Ribsy. It was something I would never be able to live down.

We had to do timed math drills in front of the entire class thanks to modern technology of the overhead projector and the chalkboard. I NEVER finished in the sixty seconds we were given. My sweaty hands could barely hold on to the white chalk and it was all I could do to keep from throwing up. I felt ashamed. I hated math.

For reading we were divided into groups that I am sure were based on ability. I was insanely shy and did not like to read out loud which made her think I couldn't read well. I was nervous and quiet and stumbled over my words. Yet I was a speed reader who zoomed through chapter books when given the chance to read independently. 

Our reading groups had catchy little names based on a rotating theme. Sometimes we were Blue Jays, Cardinals and Bluebirds. But they all got mixed up in my anxiety ridden mind and I would go to the reading table with the wrong groups. And the kids would laugh and she would chastise me for forgetting. I started picking one or two people in my group to follow but that didn't work either because people changed reading groups as determined by Mrs. Rigsby. I eventually just stayed in my seat and waited for her to say, "Robbie, we are WAITING on you. Can't you remember your group?"

Second grade was not my favorite.

What do you remember about second grade?


Alexandra said...

Awesomely told, even if bittersweet. 2nd grade was lucky for me, Miss Quill. She was an angel. 3rd grade was a great teacher, too, Mrs Sprowell who made me feel smart. 4th grade was Mrs. Brown, she leeft me alone. But my fifth grade teacher was a witch. A witch and the unkindest woman ever born. I have often wanted to write her, to let her know how sadistic she was. She must be dead by now, Irene Pelcis.

Robbie K said...

Thank you! I was lucky to have many great teachers but Mrs. Rigsby was NOT my favorite. It sounds like Ms. Pelcis shouldn't have been teaching. Sorry you had to endure her evil.