My whole career has been at Luxford. I even did my student teaching here and I got my job in 1975. I accepted it before I graduated from Norfolk State. It’s a wonderful job when you have the opportunity to help students grow and make the most of their life. You also help them to find their strengths and try to help them improve on areas of challenge.
Every year it brings something new. I think that’s what I enjoy the most. Just because I’ve been here so long, I don’t do the same thing over and over again. I look for ways to put a little more fire into the program.
I see [former students] in different places throughout the city. They now have their own families and they’re doing well. I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond a few weeks before school started. I was trying to figure out how I could get the most from my coupon. I saw this young lady and said, “Excuse me, Miss. Could you help me?” And she turned around and she looked at me. Then I was explaining about my coupon and what I wanted, and she just stood there and looked at me. Then she said, “Are you Ms. Hale?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “You were my PE teacher in elementary school!” She told me her name and I said, “Yes, and you have an older sister.” She said, “Oh, you remember! Remember how much fun we had with the parachute and those scooters?” And she kept going on and on and on. She said that with her nieces and nephews she has bought some of the same equipment and plays fun camps with her family and their kids at their family reunions. She said, “That was the best time of my life.”
That makes me feel good when you hear things like that and how it carries on, and they see how important health and physical education is. I tell the kids all the time. “This is the only body you’re going to have and you have to learn how to take care of it.” That’s why we start, even in kindergarten, talking about proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, getting enough exercise.