Occupation: I am a second grade teacher at Middle Gate School and I will be retiring this spring after 37 years in teaching. I taught one year in Annapolis, Md., but the rest of the time I've been here in Newtown.
Occupation: I am a second grade teacher at Middle Gate School and I will be retiring this spring after 37 years in teaching. I taught one year in Annapolis, Md., but the rest of the time Iâve been here in Newtown.
Living In Newtown: I moved here 43 years ago and raised five children who all grew up in this town and went to Newtown schools. When one of them said to me recently, âI think we turned out pretty well,â I agreed. Iâm also proud to say I have 11 grandchildren.
How Has Teaching Changed: Education is a dynamic profession and we are always trying to reinvent the process to make it more interesting and effective. When I started teaching, it was such a different world. They wanted to humanize the schools, open up the classrooms, and emphasize creativity and individual talents. Now, we are hearing more about accountability and assessment. Donât get me wrong, I think weâve accomplished a great deal with the latter approach. But I would just like to say to President Bush that there is no child in my classroom that is being âleft behind.â We donât permit it. We provide services when there is a need. Wistfully, sometimes I wonder what are we doing to childhood. There is a lot of stress today and there are demands. The school reflects the society, but I try to keep a little of the old ways. There is a loom in my classroom where the children can weave rugs, and I keep a closet full of blocks for their use.
What Do You Love Best About Teaching: It is always challenging. And itâs full of humor and love. The classroom is a very rich environment despite all the frustrations. The kids make me laugh. They delight and surprise me every day with what they can do. Itâs amazing.
How Do You Feel About Retiring Soon: OK, I say to myself, what am I going to do now for an encore? I see retirement as a big white scroll unrolling in front of me. Iâm going to watch it unfold and become involved in new projects that come up ââ perhaps with the Newtown Historical Society where I am a lifetime member. I might try to publish a childrenâs book. Iâll be hiking and snowshoeing, and I want to dedicate myself to improving the environment because a person needs a mission in life. But I guarantee this summer, none of this will be happening before noon. On summer mornings, I see myself enjoying my coffee, writing and reading. Not going anywhere at all before lunch.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Letâs just say I get off the grid.
Hobbies: I like to carve spoons out of wood and I weave rugs.
Pets: Goldie the cat moved into the barn and announced her presence with a great wail. She needed a caretaker and that turned out to be me.
What Are You Reading Now: Iâm reading In The Fall by Jeffrey Lent, and I read The New York Times daily. I have rather eclectic tastes. Iâve always got several books going.
Vivid Newtown Memories: All the children Iâve taught are among my happiest memories. I love going to the grocery store and having a grown-up person come up to me saying, âHi Mrs Wenblad, I still have my rug!â
Personal Philosophy: I think you need to look at every day as an adventure. Save it and celebrate it.