Thank You Mrs. Darwin

Mrs. Darwin was my fourth-grade teacher. That was a good school year because she gave me the freedom to create.

My class at Oxford School learned about European explorers like Vasco de Gama and Prince Henry the Navigator. We aimed to make perfectly round letters in cursive. We wrote down what Mrs. Darwin dictated and recited poems from memory. And, it was the year we learned about Winnie the Pooh because Mrs. Darwin read Milne’s books aloud to us.

And, that’s when I started writing on my own. I made up short stories and mini-plays, scenes really. At recess I assigned parts to my classmates and we practiced. Later, we performed the scenes when Mrs. Darwin let me take over the front of the classroom. She sat back and watched.

Do I have any of the writing? No. I wrote on composition paper and threw it away when we were done. I don’t recall what I wrote, but I do that feeling of using words to tell a story.

I was fortunate to have many other good teachers. Mr. Graves taught me about parts of speech. Mr. Rose said “to write it like no one has ever written it before.” There were others.

But Mrs. Darwin got me started. I owe her so much for that.


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