Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted March 8, 2014

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My gratitude to my grade school teacher

My Teacher, Role Model

by kleck140

My grade school teacher Mrs. Ed. Becker was the greatest example to me of anyone I have ever known. She was a tall stately woman, with gray hair, almost a carbon copy of the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. Her manner was very professional, yet profoundly caring.

She had a no-nonsense approach to life. I think I copied her voice, as when she talked it had a tone of "you better listen to me, or else."

The one habit she had, that always made the kids chuckle, was to pull her bra strap up on her shoulder, while we were reading our lesson for the day.

She was a disciplinarian but willing to help anyone who wanted to work for a goal. I remember one time, while two boys, George and Jack, were fighting in the yard, she rapped on the window so hard it shattered into many pieces. Can you guess who cleaned up the glass and had to pay for a replacement? You're right,the two boys who had been fighting.

She was the one who instilled in me the importance of continuing my education. She wanted me to have the opportunity when I graduated from eighth grade. Her idea for me was to become a corporate attorney or a senator for the state of Wisconsin.

She talked to my pa each week, stopping at the farm at least six times that summer, in 1947, offering to pay for everything it took to have me go to high school. She said, "I will pay for books, bus fare, tuition, even her clothing, if only you will consent to let her go to high school." But my pa, with his stern look, continued to say "No, the others didn't go, so she can't go either."

Instead I was farmed out as a housekeeper, nanny for two kids. The girls was six with dark hair and the boy was four with blonde hair.
It was learned later, that the boy was deaf, the reason he didn't cooperate when given directions on how to tie his shoes or get dressed.

I lost contact with then, after I was fired fro ruining a silk undergarment. I did not know to reduce the heat on the flat iron, for a silk petticoat. Being a farm girl, we didn't have such fancy things in our wardrobes.

I got married in 1955, to a fine young man, who was brilliant with technical things, but couldn't read of write beyond third grade level.

I continued to be determined to get an education. In 1968, I tried registration at two high schools, but being outside of my residential district the tuition was too high for me to go to any of those schools.

It was by the suggestion of Ms. Mellom, the guidance counselor, at the local high school, I took the SAT and ACT exams. Sitting with kids in high school (the age of my oldest daughter) to take the exams certainly was a daunting task.

A week after those tests were completed, Ms Mellom called and said, "I am taking these to Madison to the state board. As your grades are better than any kid on campus."

As my blessings usually have it, I was granted a regular High School Diploma from Cedar Grove high school. Because my husband couldn't read or write beyond third grade, I asked that the diploma be sent home with my oldest daughter, Kate at the next school season.

I waited until three years after my husbands death to register at college. In 1974, I registered at Cardinal Stritch University. I was the first person, over the age of twenty-five to register for college in that city. Therefore my label was, "A Venture Student." Can you picture a mother running the halls on campus with kids the age of my own children. I believe, it would have been better if I were a Grandma. Who wants to study with a Mom?

I graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting on May 9th, 1979 with a GPA of 3.085 and as a single parent of seven children.

Because Mrs. Becker was in a residential facility, I couldn't visit her. Therefore, I wrote my favorite teacher, a thank you note expressing my gratitude for her encouragement. Her daughter responded with a note of appreciation.

Although she died four months later in August, 1979, her words of wisdom continue to mold my daily life.


My grade school teacher, Mrs Ed. Becker to this day, is truly my inspiration and even her no-nonsense approach to life.
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