Looking back on the days of second grade, I have mixed memories. For the first three months of school, I was tormented by Mrs. Waters, the crabby thirty-year old woman who absolutely hated all children and could “never read my handwriting”. Oh, I almost forgot, she was the one who locked me up in her dungeon during recess for speaking without raising my hand (she dictated that my imprisonment would last five minutes, but I counted twenty). But during the middle of the school year, my class had a pleasant surprise-- Mrs. Waters would be leaving. Our new teacher, the principal announced, would be Ms. Moskowitz. Instantly, I felt a surge of apprehension. To my young ears, “Moskowitz” sounded threatening, even worse than “Waters”. But Ms. Moskowitz turned out to be the exact opposite of Mrs. Waters: she was kind, loving and made us giggle. She never punished us (why would she need to?) and was the exact definition of a good teacher. I still remember the bright smile that greeted us every day. The memory of the complete turnaround that took place is still strong in my mind affects me deeply. Looking back upon second grade, I learned a lot about the power of attitude. Mrs. Waters was a perfect example of a real-life antagonist, but Ms. Moskowitz has been an inspiration of kindness and compassion, and I will never forget how she had swept Mrs. Waters’ rain clouds from my memory of second grade.
Rain and Sunshine in Second Grade
December 11, 2009