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When I Was in Elementary School…


By reminiscing on some of her memories from childhood, 3/4s teacher Quynh Nguyen finds ways to connect to her current students. -Ed.

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During recess duty, I remember myself as a kid collecting the fall leaves with my friends. While looking through the kids’ HLT, I see myself feeling nervous about turning in my homework.  Going to a performance at the Seattle Children’s Theatre reminds me of the nice clothes we had to wear to see “The Lion King”. NatureBridge brought back the memories of my first overnight trip to the Minnesota Zoo — I didn’t like spending a night away from home but still loved sleeping by the sharks. Teaching elementary school frequently brings me back to my own experiences at my old school, Washburn Elementary.

This year, helping kids find books to read has brought back the most memories. A few kids in my class are reading Holes. In 1998, when Holes came out, the librarian of my school immediately put it on the summer reading list. If you read all the books on the list, you’d get a prize. My parents bought me a copy of this book and it sat in my room all summer. I didn’t finish the summer reading list.  My elementary school self didn’t really care about reading in the summer. Instead, I rode my bike around town and swam in the warm lakes. In 2017, teacher me just added my “Holes” to my Kindle app. I’m giving it a try as an adult.