Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Lessons from My Grade One Teacher

Lessons that have served me a life time 

Insights from Miss Patton Grade One Teacher

~ Dedicated to Miss Doris M. Patton & teachers  who changes lives daily.
Michael H Ballard of Resiliency for Life

The intensity of the conversation was and is still a very positive experience as I reflect back on it. I can remember talking with my Mom (She was working at the kitchen table doing food prep) about starting to attend public school like it happened yesterday. My Mom, Dawn, was very pleased that her first-born was heading off to Grade One to attend his first day. I too was very excited and pleased. Being the extroverted one I was and am it represented, friends to be made, lessons to learn, Teachers to meet, and things to experience. 

However, little did I know that within the first three weeks of school my Grade One teacher Miss Doris Patton would quickly identify several key factors about me. Some, that have positively defined me and help me with career choices, others that would define a couple of attributes that in her words “These will challenge Michael and will hinder him. Perhaps be hard on him during his time in school. However he has skills and gifts both in the classroom and in the playground he shows, that will serve him well, once he leaves school.”

Little did I know at the time how those words would ring true. Seems yours truly has some interesting combinations of talents and “issues”.  I don’t like, fact is I have strong distain for the common phrase or description of strengths and weaknesses. I’m more of a strengths and challenges kinda person. 

What Miss Patton so quickly identified as a dedicated educator and very intuitive professional was yours truly had/has an eye hand coordination issue. Printing and writing to me was and is a challenge. Slow down, practise more, not so fast, try another pen/pencil, try again… oh how many hundreds of times did I hear that the first 10 years of school. Then in a state of serious frustration I bought a typewriter. Pica font 10 pt., extended carriage! I’ve very very certain that many a teacher who could now read what I put to paper. breathed a large sigh of relief.

I was blessed to be gifted a day at the track.
High speed safety training. Interesting and exciting.
So my lessons learned from Miss Patton have served me well over the years. 
- First pay attention to those around you. Each has gifts that often exceed ours in several categories or in different ways that we share.
- Second lesson pay attention to your intuition. Miss Patton figured this out about me in less than 20 days of classroom time. Her experience, her attentiveness and intuition. First rate.
- Third lesson and biggest of them all: Stay respectful. One never knows what the other person or persons we are living next door too or working with are facing. I never felt less than with Miss Patton. This was a very big gift to give a child just starting out in school. Little did she know how much I’d need to hang on to her words for my Grade Two. But that’s a story for another time. 

Miss Patton offered up to me untold patience, kindness and insights into my future and myself. I’ve always held her up as a first rate example of what a teacher should be.

So until next time Imagine Yourself having more Resiliency for Life.

 Michael 

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