Eight Years Old

Usually when you are eight years old you are in third grade. Who was your third grade teacher? Did you like her? Where did you live? Do you have any strong memories of being eight? A picture?

Barb: When I was eight years old we lived in Montclair, New Jersey, where I attended Edgemont Elementary School. My teacher in a combined second and third grade class was Miss Hogan. I had also had her in first grade when she taught a combined first and second grade class. She was a revered teacher, who had taught a slew of accomplished people including astronaut Buzz Aldrin. I adored her.

Me as the bird in Peter and the Wolf, our class play. The cat is Virginia Severn, Peter is Hilary Hinds, grandpa is Joel Bluestein. I can’t remember the duck, but I feel like her name was Linda. Peter and the Wolf is excellent for second and third graders–no lines to learn!

Edith/Maddie: In third grade I was the short kid with the skinned knees. We had an older teacher, Miss Drumm, who taught us aeronautics, among other things. We learned all the parts of an airplane and how they fly. We each built a wooden one, so we did some carpentry, too. I did a little larceny, as well, stealing two wheels from my brother’s truck.

Edith at girl scout camp the summer after third grade.

Liz: In third grade I went to the Pleasant Valley School (it wasn’t really that pleasant) and I had Miss DiMauro as a teacher. She was super sweet and I remember liking her a lot, but I don’t remember much other than that!

Sherry: We lived in Davenport, Iowa. My third grade teacher was Mrs. Kibby and I’m so grateful to her because she worked extra hard with me and is one of the reasons I love to read. I left first grade in the top reading group, but my second grade teacher was awful. She’d fall asleep in class and leave the room for long periods of time. I left second grade in the bottom reading group. Mrs. Kibby not only worked with me in class, but sent extra reading assignments home with me. Every kid needs a teacher like her.

Julie: I had Mrs. McDevitt in 3rd grade. She was small, and very prim. The next door teacher was Mrs. Styles. Mrs. Styles was bigger, wore flowered dresses, and had long gray braids that she wound around her head. Sometimes we got to go to Mrs. Styles’ class. We’d all get up and do this shuffle dance thing while we did our times tables. I loved third grade.

Jessie: I feel like such a downer when it comes to this question! Sorry everyone! I would have to admit that third grade was a pretty terrible year for me. My family moved cross-country, I went to two new schools during third grade and my family was in considerable upheaval on a lot of fronts. One good thing about that year stands out though. Somehow an extremely kind librarian made the decision to allow me to have a library card even though I couldn’t prove residence in her town. She even let me check out as many books as I could carry. That librarian, and Nancy Drew, got me through a lot of tough times that year!

Readers: Answer the same questions!

46 Thoughts

  1. I was living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My third grade teacher was Mrs. App, a wonderful teacher. Finally someone who was not a nun! She was very kind to this super nerd. It was many years before I had a teacher who was even half as good.

  2. My third grade teacher was Sister Margaret, a very short, tough lady with a wicked sense of humor. The other third grade teacher was Mrs. Best, and they frequently team-taught. Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg, MD was a great educational experience. I especially liked Friday afternoons when Sister would read out loud to us. That was the grade I started reading Trixie Beldon books.

  3. When I turned eight I was in second grade at Kingston Elementary School in Haddonfield, NJ, and lived at 213 Sheffield Drive (I am pretty sure it wasn’t ‘Road’) because my mother made me wait until I was turning six before she allowed me to start Kindergarten, even though my birthday was in November, which made me one of the older and tallest members of my class. It was a drag because I read all of my textbooks before Thanksgiving and terribly bored with waiting for the others to catch up.

  4. My third-grade teacher at Atlasburg Elementary School was Mrs. Williams. I don’t have any outstanding memories about her other than she was nice.

    Since I still live on a piece of my family’s farm, I can say I’m still here, but that grade school isn’t. The building is still standing but empty, replaced by a big elementary center near our high school.

  5. While I’m sure some pictures exist of me at 8 years old (in the many albums my mother kept), I can’t say that I have any particular memories of that age. I live in the same house I did when I was eight. Also, that was during the three year stretch my parents sent me to catholic school so following a bus trip every morning I was at Sacred Heart Elementary for third grade with Sister Ann Catherine as my main teacher.

  6. I lived in Rutherford, NJ and attended Union School in the third grade. My teacher was newly minted. Mrs. Frierman. She was fabulous. We kept in touch until I was in college.

  7. In 3rd grade, I was attending from Joseph W. Stilwell Elementary School at Fort Ord, CA when my Dad was stationed. My favorite subject was math.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  8. I was living in Hamburg, NY in third grade and attending Union Pleasant Elementary School (which is still there and still operating). I’m sure there are pictures,. but I don’t have them. I want to say my third-grade teacher was a man, one of only two men I had in elementary school (the other was sixth grade). I don’t remember his name, but he played piano and every afternoon we’d gather round and have a sing-a-long. A boy named Paul Starkweather braided my (then very long) hair into dozens of miniscule braids I couldn’t get out. The teacher not only punished Paul and made him apologize, but he helped me pick out the braids before I went home. I liked him.

  9. My third grade teacher was Mrs. Cohen. We were bussed to a better school and I remember her taking me under her wings making sure I kept up with the other students and making me feel welcomed. By the first test period, I was on par with the rest of the class and excelled afterwards in the school and my classes.

  10. In third grade, we had just moved from the “big city ” of Augusta, Maine to the very small town of Manchester, Maine. I had Mrs. Drum for a teacher, who put naughty kids in a closet or made them put their chewing gum on their nose – horrors! I was very afraid of her. The kids had already learned to tell time, and I remember my dad buying me a Cinderella watch that he taught me on. I was a very quiet, shy little girl!

  11. I was eight years old in 1980 and I remember being mystified by the word “decade.” My wonderful third grade teacher, who called us her “shining stars,” had a Christmas/New Years party the day before vacation and explained what a decade was. My eight year old brain thought, “Oh, 1980 is going to be just like living in the Jetsons!” Of course, it wasn’t, but the one reward from January 1st, 1980, was we had a massive blizzard the day before school was to begin after break and we played all day Monday in the snow! Then it was back to third grade and those weekly spelling tests!

  12. What fun memories. My third grade teacher was Miss Mary, who was an unmarried woman her whole life (and may still be). She was at an alumni dinner of my Catholic high school a couple of years ago, looking utterly trim and chic and impossibly young, about 60 years later. And claimed to remember me and the “other Karen” in our class, who dragged me over to talk to her. I remember her as a good teacher, and she continued to be beloved through her career.

  13. Barb, when I was 8, I had just moved to Upper Montclair and attended third grade at Mount Hebron Elementary, alma mater of Buzz Aldrin. Seems almost impossible now to imagine that I was deemed old enough to take the bus to the Y on Saturday’s to take gymnastics and ballet. I wore penny loafers with dimes in them in case I had to make a phone call home in an emergency. It also seems impossible that I was ever interested in ballet and gymnastics, but sports for little girls were limited, particularly for those too uncoordinated to do ball sports, and I was an active kid.

    Tiny world.

    1. That is so funny! I had no idea we had Montclair in common. We moved away during the summer between fourth and fifth grade>

  14. Like Jessie, I don’t have great memories of third grade. I sat at the back of the class and was almost failed for not turning in assignments written on the chalkboard. Turned out I could not see the chalkboards to know anything was written on them, so off to the ophthalmologist to get glasses. I remember riding home with my new glasses and marveling at the leaves on the trees we passed. My father was so surprised to know I had not ever seen leaves. With new glasses and a seat at the front of the class, I could see the filled chalkboards and accomplish the lessons. Our teacher who I should not name for fear she would read this, was happy to sit at her desk, expect a perfectly quiet classroom and not interact with us at all. Fourth grade was so much better with Miss Tulip Atkins…lots of interaction, no questions on the chalkboard to answer, a daily read aloud after lunch and singing. She taught us the song, “Mares eat oats.” Fun times!

      1. I think my glasses were in 4th grade, after my teacher noticed I was missing questions that were on the blackboard. I was amazed to see leaves on trees! She made such a fuss about my wonderful new glasses that it didn’t even occur to me to feel self-conscious about them. “Four eyes” had no sting for me.

  15. I’m afraid it’s been way too long to remember the 3rd grade. I really don’t even remember High school anymore.
    I do know I loved school. I loved to learn and always did well. I had some great teachers. I was very lucky to not have a teacher I didn’t like, well except my high school physics teacher. He was an ass and even my Father who could and would talk to anyone, didn’t like him.
    It’s really strange, I have “snap shots ” in my head of teachers and classrooms, but the names escape me completely.

  16. Hey, my brain finally supplied one teachers name, Mr Steiner. He was my 9th grade Biology teacher at Central High School in Omaha, NE. I remember him for 2 reasons. He kept a snake in class and bought baby hamsters to feed it. He had one too many once and gave the extra baby to me. That’s how Charlotte came to live with us. I had her for many years.
    The other reason I remember him, was I was very sick with the flu and miss the final. When I went to take the make-up exam, there was no one there and a standardized test on his desk with a note saying, “try this test”. I dutifully took the test and left it on his desk. Ah, the days of trust! He called me in to his office later and wanted to know how I knew the answers to the test. (He had given me the 10th grade final by mistake.) I said they were in the films he had shown us every Friday. (He really was a very lazy teacher.) So I got my A in the class and was allowed op out of 10th grade Bio.
    The things one remembers.
    Of course you realize you’ve caused my poor brain to start pulling out files it hasn’t seen in decades. Ehehehe.

  17. Third grade was a year of two halves. I was going to a private Christian school that was in the process of building a new campus. (It was also part of the church we were going to at the time.)

    Up until Christmas vacation, I has Miss Brouwer, and we were bussed every day to a church 15 minutes away that was letting us rent space. And then we were bussed back to what was the main campus at the time.

    After Christmas vacation, I has Mrs. Villa. Enough of the new campus had been built that we were able to go there. No more busses was involved.

    Oh, and I only had one teacher all year. My teacher got married over Christmas. 🙂

  18. My third grade teacher was a horror. The woman was frustrated because she loved her 6th grader classes, (among whom my brother had been), but she had an odd way of speaking, and since our school district (Fairfax Count VA), had decided to try to get grades 4,5&6 to learn French, she needed to drop down. She was bitter, and where the sixth grade students had found her fun, she became a sadistic bully, strangely picking on the brighter kids and indulging the less gifted. It was previous, later ‘homebound’ teachers plus my 5th grade teacher that did a great deal for me.
    BTW, the French experiment was a total failure, since almost no time was given to it, (one or two TV lessons a week), and almost none of the classroom teachers spoke French.

    1. We “learned” Spanish the same way, Tonette, in southern California. My fifth grade teacher went to sleep almost the minute the Spanish lesson came on the TV. Still it gave me a basis for the language I still use!

  19. I had Miss Robinson. I liked her. I had aunts in the school system, so I had to behave. My aunts stayed friends with Miss Robinson. She came to a family event after I had kids of my own. I think she was a little surprised when I gave her a big smooch on the cheek.

  20. In third grade, I had Miss Voron. I went to Governor Wolf Elementary in Bethlehem, PA. I’ve remained in Bethlehem- born, raised, and aging in Bethlehem! Miss Voron was one tough teacher, and it wasn’t a simple year for me. I had just gotten my hearing aid. I was the only one in the school with a hearing aid. Fun stuff! I secretly took it out on the bus on the way to school and hid it in my lunchbox. I’d put it back in on the ride home so my mother wouldn’t know! LOL! Though Miss Voron was tough, after third grade, I adored her. Sadly, when I was in high school, she was in an awful car accident and was ejected from her car. Miss Voron was quite a large lady- back then, they didn’t make seatbelt extenders, so she didn’t have a seatbelt on bc she couldn’t wear one. Liz M. Pleasant Valley S.D. in PA?

  21. Oh, Jessie, I love that librarian for her kindness. I don’t have a clear memory of specific grade school teachers, but most were kind and encouraging . . . enough so that I formed a firm intention of being a teacher “when I grew up.” My told of one who sent me home with dozens of safety pins holding my gathered skirt to the bodice after it caught on the slide. Kindness. <3
    The one exception I remember because she was grouchy and because she turned my paper so that I had to write with that left-handed hook position . . .years of smearing my papers and cramping my hand muscles. Ah well, there always has to be one.

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