Several months ago, I had some time to kill after work so I headed over to an event put on by the Parent-Teacher Association of the local elementary schools. They were handing out school supplies and I figured I would get a few pictures for the paper and make a donation to their organization.
I walked away a member of the Selman Elementary PTA.
By the time I got home, I had Facebook requests from a few of the PTA moms who were at the event. If you know me, this just made my day. I friend request everyone I meet. I get a ton of story ideas, news and information from Facebook. We’re often able to grab “courtesy photos” from sporting events and community functions that we weren’t able to attend. It’s a reporter’s dream, especially a reporter who started in this business back when we had no email, no Google and definitely no social media. We made A LOT of phone calls and created our own versions of shorthand with a pen and paper.
I got another thrill when sports editor Cole McNanna and I got to talk to Ms. Sanchez’ writing class at Selman Elementary. Shortly thereafter Cole and I were asked to adopt a class at Selman. I got Ms. Penny Anderson’s second graders. And I adore them.
It has been so rewarding to go every month and talk to them about our newspaper and hear what’s going on in their lives. One little girl is about to have her tonsils removed; another is excited for Little League season.
My mother was my very own kindergarten teacher (I attended a private school in the very small town of Crockett, Texas and there was just the one kindergarten teacher) and she went on to teach second grade for many, many years. My favorite teacher in the whole world was my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Womack, who actually called me at The Sealy News a couple of months ago. Kids that age are just so special to me. They’re a little silly but they haven’t lost their sweetness.
At my last visit to Ms. Anderson’s class Jan. 16, the kids gathered around me and had me autograph copies of the newspaper. They all wanted to take pictures with me and one even asked me to sign his potato chip bag.
I’ll be moving on next month to a new group of Forever Tigers, in Ms. Nicklas’ fifth-grade class. I’m a little nervous about a new group of kids, who are a little older and wiser. What if they don’t like me or think I’m boring? I’ve spoken to high school and college classes where the kids have just straight-up put their heads down on their desks and taken a nap during my presentation. That’s quite a blow to the ego. However, I never cease to be amazed by how polite and well-mannered Sealy students are.
I look forward to continuing my journey as a Forever Tiger and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at email@example.com.