THE IMPORTANCE OF FIRST GRADE TEACHERS 5-30-17
Both our daughters love to read and write. Part of that is because they grew up in a reading home, but much of it is due to their first grade teacher, Edith Hufford.
She did not start to college until she was fifty years old. Her sons were going to the local university, Illinois State, so she decided to keep them company. It took her ten years, but she finally got a degree, and a job teaching first grade at Oakdale School. She taught only five years, but those were the years Mary Beth and Katie were first graders at Oakdale.
Mrs. Hufford was almost more grandmother than teacher. I observed her classes on several occasions. It was clear that the children loved her. If a little boy fell off his chair to get a laugh, the way little boys do, she laughed right along with everybody else. It wasn’t a distraction; it was entertainment. Because she loved the children, they loved her back. If she said “Read,” they only said, “How long and how fast?” This inexperienced old teacher’s classes rated the highest for their grade level in the state.
We don’t get many Mrs. Huffords anymore, of any age, because teachers are so disrespected. They are the enemy, because they belong to unions, and we have to pay taxes because they want to be paid a salary and have health care and pensions instead of donating their time.
Besides, we don’t want people to be able to read and think, because readers and thinkers are harder to control. We can’t convince readers and thinkers to vote against their own best interests so that people who already have too much money can “legally” steal what little the ignoramuses have by convincing them that the people who are actually trying to help them are not patriotic or Christian enough.
Younger daughter, Katie Kennedy, has turned that ability to read into writing for others to read. She is a highly successful author of Young Adult novels. In her new one, that comes out July 6, 2017, one of the characters is named Edith Hufford. How’s that for a thank-you for learning how to read?