28 July 2018

Bess Tuggle - Memoirs of Surviving Children: The Teacher & Pooh Bear

As the school year begins again, I have to say that teachers have my utmost respect.  I’m an elementary school substitute teacher and I really don’t see how full-time teachers do it every day.  I cry at the thought of going back.  The students are not my kids, but they become your kids when you have a daily relationship with them.  Sometimes that’s the best some of the children will ever get.  Sad, but true.

            I also know some teachers that owe my children.  My boys’ trained them –well-!  This is about my all-time favorite teacher.

            My youngest is the one that really made me jump through hoops.  He had to be potty-trained before he could go to Pre-K (pre-kindergarten).  He ran it right down to the wire, but he got to go to school.  He was –so- proud!  He was also –so- lucky!  His first teacher was a new teacher; she had no preconceptions, but still did an absolutely awesome job.

            She is an adorable little black woman, tough as nails, and my kid put her through the hoops.  She might scold me for saying that, but she is.

            The first time she called me she was uneasy.  Again, she was a new teacher.  Here comes the call from a new, black teacher to a white mother to explain the problem:  “Your son jumps up from his desk, runs up to me, grabs me around the neck, kisses my cheek and runs back to his desk.”  I don’t know how to write about the tension in her voice, but it disappeared when I answered “I’m sorry.  That means he LIKES you!” and laughed.

            That wasn’t my only call from her.  The next one came to inform me that Thing 4 had a problem with their reading volunteer.  The volunteer would come in to read to them once or twice a week, and yes, she was a black woman.  She also wore a dress.  The problem arose when Thing 4 would creep up and start caressing her leg while she was reading.

            Bless his little heart.  His Mama worked at a ranch and well company.  I wore jeans and boots to work every day.  He didn’t know what to think about –stockings-.  He’d never seen them before.  He was completely enthralled. 

            We have some really awesome teachers and volunteers in our school system.  I’m jealous, though.  Thing 4’s Pre-K teacher is the only one that can get away with calling my youngest Marine “Pooh Bear.”  She’ll also scold me if I don’t get a new picture of his daughter.  I don’t –ever- want time-out in her classroom. 

- Bess 

A jack of all trades, Bess Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations. 
Your Source for the REAL Story