I’ve been in school since I was 6 years old

Posted Jun 21, 2017

I’ve been in school since I was 6 years old! I graduated from Princess Anne High School and did my student teaching at College Park Elementary. I started out at Kempsville Elementary and Creeds when I first got a job in 1977. It was part-time at Creeds for two days and three days at Kempsville. I have been at Christopher Farms for 20 years.

It is a job I truly have loved or I wouldn’t have stayed with it for so long. I get emotional just thinking about it. I never thought I would do this for 40 years. I did 30, and I kept thinking, ‘Well, I can do this one more year.’ Then, ‘I can do this another year.’ Now 10 years have passed and it is one of the best jobs in the world.”

Most of these children aren’t going to grow up to be artists but I want them to see how art is important in the everyday lives. We talk about that from the moment they get up and they brush their teeth, an artist had some role in designing that toothbrush. We talk about the cars that get them to school and our building. I want them to appreciate the idea of art.

What have you learned in 40 years of teaching?

Each child is different. Each child brings something new every day. You can never really plan a good day. I always say a good day just happens. You can have the best plans but sometimes a fire drill happens in the middle of a clay lesson or kids have their shoes off to draw them and something will happen. Every day is different. Every day is exciting. That’s what has kept me with it. It’s not ho-hum. Every day is a new experience and challenge every day.

What’s next?

My sister is retiring from Bayside High School, so we’re going to take sister trips. We both need knee replacements so we might do that together and then do sister trips. I’m an adjunct for Virginia Wesleyan, so still working with college students and future teachers. I have a daughter who is the music teacher at Landstown Middle and she’s getting married Oct. 7, so the summer and the beginning of the school year will be busy. After that, it will be hard. What we do here, the retirees come back on that first day of school and help show kids where classes are and stand in the hall. Then they go to breakfast. I plan to do that on the first day with the rest of retirees and then go to breakfast.