Day 14 -- Your favorite elementary school teacher...
It has to be Miss Wilson, my fifth grade teacher. She was the best! She was young and vibrant, funny and smart and patient, and she always treated us as though we were older than we actually were. Even when we didn't act it. She seemed to respect us and our opinions.
My favorite thing about her was her taste in books. Specifically, the books she chose to read to us when we came back from lunch. I treasured that time more than any other in the day. She turned out the lights, gathered us in a corner of the room, and swept us into fictional lands and scenarios that stick in my head to this day. The Westing Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond are the first to come to mind.
One of the many reasons I hated ELP -- the extended learning (gifted...gag) program they stuck me in starting in third grade -- was because a couple days a week I had to skip Miss Wilson's reading time to go work on creative problem solving and practice being a nerd. Of course, being her awesome self, Miss Wilson understood my frustration and disappointment. Therefore, on those days when we knew I'd be gone, she seemed to free up some time in my schedule so that I could read ahead and not fall behind the class on plot developments. I had to promise, though, not to tell anyone what happens ahead of time. No one wanted to ruin the surprise twists and turns for anyone else.
At the end of my fifth-grade year, Miss Wilson announced that she was getting married to a guy named Pat, I think, who I recall was so tall she had to stand on a chair to kiss him. Or maybe she only joked about that. He was a cutie. They made an adorable couple. Then she moved away, and I have no idea what happened to her. I wonder now and then whether she continued to teach, or whether she had kids of her own, and I wonder how many other folks out there were lucky enough to share such a special storytime.