Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days

Little Ducks #366Days Day 88

toy duck in water

Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and that has made me mindful of all kinds of things from my childhood. My mind has been racing through Green Eggs and Ham and the School House Rock song about Bill on Capitol Hill. Then, tonight, I suddenly had a memory surface of my first-grade classroom at Westside.

My teacher, Mrs. Duke, had created a great display just outside the room, right above the water fountain we shared with the classroom next door. There, on that wall, were rows and rows of cut out little ducks, each one proudly sporting one of our names. We were, she told us, “her little ducks,” and she quickly became “Mama Duck” as much as “Mrs. Duke.”

I’ve been fortunate throughout my vast years of education to have had a lot of great teachers. There were professors who remain friends; teachers who bragged on my writing, encouraging me to develop talents I use on a daily basis. I am so thankful for the influence they have had in my life. They, along with Dr. Seuss taught me his famous lesson, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

I’m especially thankful for those, like Mrs. Duke, who invest their lives in teaching young children, starting them off well in the world of learning. They proudly agree with Dr. Seuss when he says, “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

I’m one thankful little duck.

2 Comment

  1. I remember Carol Duke when I taught at Westside. I went there today to read to a Pre-k class, had not been to Westside since 1978. It was very different, I understand there was a fire in early 2000, so it was rebuilt. The visit today brought a lot of memories back to me, also. As I was driving on Main Street on the way, I remembered one morning as a first year teacher I ran out of gas in front of McDonalds. We had no cell phones then, but my cousin, Mike Butler came along to my rescue. He passed away just days ago and I had reflected on that memory once already. When I left Westside I couldn’t help thinking about my first principal, Eddie Starnes and how he had so much love for the children. He is now at Winthrop, so I decided to go visit him on Dr. Seuss’ birthday!! Unfortunately, he was asleep, and I didn’t get to speak with him. But, I did reflect on the many things I learned that first year of teaching and laughed about how much I still had to learn and experience. One thing I have missed since retirement from teaching is reading to children. Today, I realized I must do that more often, and I hope to do it at Westside where I began my career.

    1. That is awesome, Patty! Mr Starnes was my principal. I remember him giving us achievement tests in the library one time. The one that sticks in my memory was on Roman numerals. I’m pretty sure I still have that certificate somewhere, pack rat that I am. Glad you got to enjoy Dr. Seuss day. Love you.

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