When I was going into fourth grade, we got our teacher assignments at the end of the summer. I was assigned to Miss Lampros’ class. Being fairly new to Jefferson School, we did not know much about her but a friend of my mom’s mentioned to her that she feared I’d be “eaten alive” in that classroom. Although, no one might believe it today, I was a pretty shy, quiet kid back then. Miss Lampros was believed to be “the tough teacher” and this friend thought my shy personality would not fit well with her. My mom was never one to stir the waters or cause a commotion and just said that I would have to deal with it. Of course, this made me a nervous wreck to start fourth grade.
There was something special about that class though and I am sure much of it had to do with Miss Lampros. She was tough and she was demanding but I think that is what helped turn me into a better student. I remember a fake television cut out that she had in the classroom. Every week, we had to find a current event in the newspaper, write a summary and read it to the class like we were television reporters. I was petrified to speak in front of the class but that didn’t matter. Every week, I had to do it and with each week, I became more and more confident.
Miss Lampros let me come into her classroom after school and help her organize – which I now think may have been an early form of recycling! She’d give me leftover dittos and worksheets and let me take them home. I’d use them to play school with my siblings and friends. Of course, I was always the teacher! I was sad to have that school year end. I loved her and still to this day, I am grateful that my mother never tried to change my class because of what she heard other parents tell her. I use this story often when I have parents “ask” for a teacher for upcoming years.
Miss Lampros is the reason I am a teacher today. I decided in fourth grade, that I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to teach and I wanted to help those shy children come out of their shell and see how much they were truly capable of. Last week, at the Tuscan Retirement dinner, I recognized a teacher from the past and it turned out that she had taught my brother and sister. I told her my story about Miss Lampros and she told me that she might have a way for me to get in touch with her… something I had been trying to do for years! She asked for my email address so that she could send me her information. She told me that she could not promise that it was current, but hopefully it was a step in the right direction. I received her email the next day and wrote her a note right away. I kept waiting for it to “bounce back” but it never did. Yesterday, I received and email from her! She was happy to hear from me and we have talked about meeting up in the summer. I wrote it today as one of my #100happydays and told the story. It seems that several of my friends had her and all seemed interested in hearing from her. Who knows? Maybe we will turn it into a mini reunion for her and for us! I am sure that she inspired a lot more people than just me!
Tagged: #100happydays, favorite teacher, fourth grade, getting in touch, happy days, inspiraton, locating an old teacher, my inspiration
Miss Lampros was also my 4th grade teacher at Jefferson School in 1966. Imagine having to memorize a poem and then reciting it back to the whole class, gaining an appreciation of Michelangelo by looking at pictures of his “David” sculpture, going to see the opera Madame Butterfly as a class at the Mosque in Newark and learning about this impressionist painter named Van Gogh who actually cut off his ear. All this was very heady stuff for a 10 year old but the worlds that Miss Lampros opened for me will always be a very precious gift! Thank you Miss Lampros, wherever you are & God Bless!
I just forwarded your comment to Miss Lampros. I am hoping to meet up with her soon. I can’t wait to see her.
Thank you Claire! Please give her my best.