Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My favorite teacher

I've always loved school. I attribute my love for education to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Bowen. I had recently moved to Alhambra, CA with my family from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when I was enrolled in the first grade at Garfield Elementary School. I vaguely remember sitting in the school office, being shown ink blots and giving my opinion about what the shapes and blobs represented. I also was tested for English as a Second Language and passed, so I didn't have to attend any additional ESL classes. Mrs. Bowen was the first teacher I had in the United States.

One of our school activities included painting boxes to create the characters from the book "The Little Engine that Could". I played the role of the "Little Engine" :). I chanted, "I think I can, I think I can", as I walked around the classroom with my fellow students during the play. Another memorable class activity was collecting empty cereal boxes and other grocery items to "stock" in our pretend store. Once we had enough items, we were given play money and then played grocery shopping. Now that I'm a parent, I watch as my own two kids spend hours "shopping" at the pretend grocery store at the Minnesota Children's Museum. It's easily one of their favorite exhibits. They enjoy pushing around the mini grocery cart, filling it with bread, canned items and boxes and then bringing them to the checkout counter to scan.

My love for education encouraged me to pursue my graduate degree and I never looked back. I've always wondered where Mrs. Bowen is today. If I had the opportunity, I would thank her for the great childhood memories she helped to give me in the first grade.

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