April is National Poetry Month. I have many favorite poems and William Wordsworth’s classic about daffodils is perfect for this time of year. When I was in Mrs. Welstead’s fifth grade class, she had us memorize that poem. While I can no longer can recite all of “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” I still remember parts of it and whenever I see daffodils in the spring I think of the poem and I think of Mrs. Welstead, too. She taught fifth grade in Cliffwood Elementary School. My brother had been in her class the year before me. She seemed tall and formidable to me and since I was a shy child I rarely said anything in her class. When she praised another pupil’s long, neat fingernails, I looked at my nails and cringed. I had bitten them down to the nub. I vowed not to bite them anymore.
Mrs. Welstead had us practice our cursive handwriting on a regular basis, which was a good thing because until I landed in her class my handwriting was horrible. However, the best part of being in the classroom with Mrs. Welstead was the fact that she always took time to read to her pupils. In addition to William Wordsworth’s poem, she read many classic short stories. I enjoyed every minute of listening as she opened up new worlds of literature for me. While I had many other wonderful teachers, Mrs. Welstead will always retain a special place in my heart.
Do you have a favorite poem or a favorite teacher?