Nostalgia for Teaching and Things Kids Say

Nostalgia for Teaching After retiring two years ago, the thing I miss most about teaching is the kids especially in September when it’s back to school time. Even on my worst days, students would say or do something to make me smile.

Once my adult daughter came to help me at basketball practice and when I introduced her to my young athletes one of them exclaimed, “Wow, you look just like your sister!”

Another time years before the age of retirement, my sixth grade student ran from the primary building to the gym. She loved PE.

“You look just like my grandma!” she blurted out with a huge smile of enthusiasm

Taken aback for I never considered myself the age of a grandma, I foolishly asked,

“Really? How old is your grandma?”

“Seventy-five like you. Tall and fit. And she still plays basketball every week.”

Go, granny go.

I burst out laughing. Should I be insulted that she saw me as old enough to be a granny or proud to know she considers me fit enough to still play my favorite game?

Another day a graduating student told me she remembers having me in first grade PE. Ah yes, in my early days at our school I had to teach every grade between year one and twelve.

I taught long enough to be one of the elders. When students I had in class returned to our campus to for student teacher training, I felt proud. This year one of my best student/athletes returned to school to teach and now coaches with me.

Nostalgia for Teaching Students also offer some of the sweetest gifts of appreciation.

One of my favorites was handmade – sort of. A boy gave me a plastic Scandinavian Airline travel pouch used by under age children when traveling unaccompagnied. In permanent black marker he wrote on the front of it – Old Timer Comin’ Through. Now every time I fly I carry my passport, glasses and blindfold in that bag on a lanyard around my neck. As I wait in the endless security check lines, I think of my former student – now at Cambridge – and chuckle.

Chalkboards are obsolete now replaced by white boards, electronic tablets and laptop computers. Over the years the means of communication changed immensely.

This one was one of the funniest notes from a student that I worked with in the learning support department, which became a safe haven for so many including me.

The way we connect may change, but the message remains the same. Teachers do make a difference. Every. Day.


Comments

    1. Pat McKinzie

      That’s true Antoinette. I can see from my parents and grandparents all former educators that teachers never really retire they just go on to impart the knowledge in other ways through their roles in families and communities.

  1. Susan Bennett

    This time of year I think about the students I encountered in my 33years of teaching. The first students I had were high schoolers. It is hard to believe that some of them are 60+ years old!!

    1. Pat McKinzie

      So nice to hear from you Sue. Thanks for sharing. We are enjoying an extended summer here but still miss my beloved lake and the autumn festival of colors.

  2. Susan Bennett

    This time of year I think about the students I encountered in my 33years of teaching. The first students I had were high schoolers. It is hard to believe that some of them are 60+ years old!!

  3. Rocky Hasbrouck

    I don’t think we ever quit teaching after we retire! I went from teaching to helping my wife with our Daycare! So, instead of teaching High school students, l’m being taught by a few pre-schoolers! Ha-ha!
    However, l don’t mind coloring and learning my ABC’s all over again, but l think nap time doesn’t last long enough! Ha-ha-ha!
    Hi Pat..l really enjoy reading your posts from time to time! You’re such a great writier. I don’t know how you ever find time, especially with everything else you do! I just wanted to say hi, and let you know, l’m retired. But, l’m keeping busy helping my wife, Debbie with our little Daycare!

    1. Pat McKinzie

      Oh Rocky it was such a nice surprise to hear from you. I love your sense of humor and ability to find joy and laughter teaching at your wife’s Daycare after working with high schoolers. I don’t know how you manage to keep up with the little ones, but I am sure they keep you on your toes and filled with many cute stories too.

  4. Randy Duncan

    Hi Pat,

    What Art Linkletter said years ago ….. “kids say the darnest things” is very true.”
    I admire those who can teach the young people. It takes a lot of dedication and patience.
    I enjoy reading your blog. I enjoy hearing of your experiences overseas.

    1. Pat McKinzie

      You are absolutely right. Teaching does take so much patience – I think I must of inherited mine from my teacher parents and grandparents.

  5. Randy Duncan

    Hi Pat,

    What Art Linkletter said years ago ….. “kids say the darnest things” is very true.”
    I admire those who can teach the young people. It takes a lot of dedication and patience.
    I enjoy reading your blog. I enjoy hearing of your experiences overseas.

    1. Pat McKinzie

      Thanks Clara. I was so happy to hear from you. I have been missing reading your blog. I hope that you are in good health and have been busy with other writing projects and activities to empower women.

  6. Flo

    Dear Pat
    How I agree with everything you write….
    I couldn’t continue without my kids.
    On Friday, one of them, a girl aged 12 came at the end of my class and told me “thank you for helping me during the test”. She is dyslexic and can’t read and write easily.
    Last year, I laughed for a long time after another one told me “we are going to do calcul littéraire” instead of “calcul littéral” ( when numbers are letters!!!!)
    Or when littlest of them talking about “angles ” say ange aigü et angle “grave” instead of “obtus”.
    Kisses
    Flo

  7. Debbie

    Aw, this is great, Pat. Just shows how important it is for us to thank our teachers while we have the chance. I’ve sent several Thank-you notes to former teachers, and every single one has been appreciative. Love how comfortable your former students were with you, to be so free in their comments!

    1. Pat McKinzie

      That is so sweet that you wrote thank you to teachers. Your words will mean so much to them just as your comments mean so much to me. Thanks!

  8. Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan

    Too funny Pat. Thanks for making me chuckle. I love it when my La Chat ex-students want me to be friends with them on Facebook. I have quite a merry troupe of ex-dancers now, who always write the sweetest things about my daughters, who many knew as babies. The La Chat family extends across time and geographical boundaries 💖🌈😁🌎 xxx

  9. Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan

    Too funny Pat. Thanks for making me chuckle. I love it when my La Chat ex-students want me to be friends with them on Facebook. I have quite a merry troupe of ex-dancers now, who always write the sweetest things about my daughters, who many knew as babies. The La Chat family extends across time and geographical boundaries 💖🌈😁🌎 xxx

  10. Bill

    Dear Pat,
    We enjoy all your Posts, please keep them coming. We always enjoy visiting with your wonderful parents. It would be a pleasure to meet you. I would like to give you a personal tour through the President Reagan Birthplace and the Tampico Historical Museum. Sincerely,
    Bill Widolff

  11. Sue

    I, too, have so many great memories from my teaching days and the funny and often times insightful things my students have said over the years. I wish I would have written more of them down. Glad you are still connecting, teaching and reaching hearts with your students in the gym.

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