My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. N. Anderson instilled in me the love of reading and writing. She was amazing, Mrs. Anderson truly cared about her students who attended Willard Elementary School in Highland Park, Michigan.
One time, I’ll never forget, the whole class worked on a book assignment where we made our own books. We made the cover, wrote the content and inserted the pages. The best thing, the best thing of all was that we shellacked the cover. “WoW”! my orange-colored cover was bright and shiny. “Will you play with me?” – was my title and the words of my title glistened from the bright orange jacket. We all wrote about 8 pages to go along with our titles and drew pictures with crayons and markers. I’ll never forget that assignment, the joy and excitement Mrs. Anderson brought to our class everyday when it came to reading and writing.
Before summer vacation, Mrs. Anderson did something else spectacular. One day, out of the blue, she passed out permission slips for a field trip she was planning for the class. She instructed us to read the slips to ourselves – Dear parent or guardian, Mrs. N. Anderson and her 2nd grade class will be participating in a field trip on the last week of May, 1970 (more information will follow before field trip). The class will be exploring the wooded area’s near Mrs. N. Anderson’s home in Farmington Hills. We will collect leaves and study the habitat in the area and write a report concerning the field trip before school lets out for the summer. The children will then have lunch with Mrs. N. Anderson and her husband in their home and discuss what we learned about the woods and the habitat. After a few minutes, we all let out loud sounds of kid joy, we were all invited to Mrs. Anderson’s house to play in the woods. I couldn’t wait.
In a nutshell, I knew I wanted to become a writer. The shellacking of my first book stayed with me throughout the years. Visiting Mrs. Anderson’s home, meeting her husband and playing in the woods behind their home was a blast. But, what I most remember about my 2nd grade teacher was her love for words.