Lee Wilson' First Teaching Job

I graduated from College in June of 1959.  I looked for a job teaching school and was turned down a few times.  one interview I had asked what I would do about the lock step in reading and I had had now idea what the term lock step even meant so I couldn't answer the question so I di not get that job either.  


I  was getting a little worried as the summer was coming to a close.  I interviewed with a claude Turner in Nesbitt Elemenmtary in Belmont, California.  Maybe he was as worried as I was but he agreed to hire me anyway..  I started teaching three weeks later.  My class was a third grade and there were 28 students.  I struggled at first.  not knowing how to handle a class room even though I felt that my  education was a very good one.  My college, San Fransico State,  had a reputation of graduating top notch teachers.  The curriculum was more practial that the University across the bay in Berkeley.   

Later I learned that Claude wondered if I would make  as a teacher.  I was assigned a teaacher mentor as he did for all new teachers.  I was grateful for her encouragement.  As the year went on I had some wonderful experiences.  One day as I was thinking about a lesson on our county I decided we should build a map of the county .  I wanted to build it with a sand mixture but I had now idea where to get a screen big enough to sift the sand.  The nextr morning I arrived in my class room and a great big screen was on my floor.  I never knew where it came from but it worked.  We built and labeled the relief map.  It was useful for as long as we studyed the unit.

One day in the spring we were doing a cut and peice art project for St. Patrick's day.  One little girl said she could not participate because of her religion.  I wanted her to be involved in the drawing and cutting experience so I said, "Would you like to cut some flowers for our spring bulletin boads?"  She was happy to do that without compromising her beliefs.  I learned there is always a way toi help a child without hurting a child.  

One other incident that taught me to teach with love was with a little boy named Eddie.  One day he came to me and said his famiuly was moving.  I hugged him and told him to try hbard with his new teacher and give him or her a chance to love him as much as I did.  we both parted with tears in our eyes,  I hope he grew to be a good adult.

I lasted one year because I married and was expecting a child later in the year and so my principle and I decided it would be best for me not to return in the fall.

My first year teaching taught me that my education was solid and I could teach with love and compassion.  It was difficult to close my classroom door for the last time.  Even though I would go on to teach other classrooms  But those are another story

.b2ap3_thumbnail_Nesbitt-Elementary--Faculty-picture.jpgNesbitt Faculty Photograph.

"The tears won't come."
My first job

Comments 1

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Tom Cormier (website) on Saturday, 22 February 2014 16:00

Lee, this is excellent. What a wonderful story, and well written too!

Lee, this is excellent. What a wonderful story, and well written too!