“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Lessons Learned in the 1st Grade Classroom and the Playground

June 10, 2010

For me, numbers just seem to be easy to remember. I can still recite my home telephone number when I was a first grader, CY9-…

So, why is it challenging for me now to remember a seven item grocery list or a seven item to do list? The answer, of course, is twofold: self-confidence and focus.

Memorizing my home telephone number was critical at the age of six, a scary place to be in a school of unfamiliar faces.

After our teacher told us not to damage our new crayons, one classmate removed the paper wrappers from the large, new Crayola¬© crayons. I can still see the teacher’s hand whack her wooden ruler on one of his little hands. Disobedience in that classroom was not tolerated; offenders received immediate painful reminders to remember the non-negotiable rules.

During recess on the playground, a classmate socked me in the stomach. I don’t remember why he hit me but I do remember my stomach felt the brutal hit. I don’t remember the teacher reprimanding the offender, even though there were lots of small eyewitnesses.

I never enjoyed reading in school. When we visited the school library to check out books, I didn’t understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction but I do remember the fact that the librarian and I were the same height.

Afraid to ask the question, “How did they know what to look for in the large room of strange books?” I didn’t say too much; it was easier to be quiet and that was easy for me to replicate.

Only a few years ago, I remember a young man, 16 or 17 years of age, ask me if there was a literacy training program where I worked. He taught me a profound lesson with a simple question that day; it’s one I’d personally experienced years ago but never wanted to admit.

I wonder how long he struggled with taking that first step to ask the question that would break through a cinder block wall of fear.

Just yesterday, I found a question and answer in Nehemiah 2:4 that taught me what I needed to know now as well as those years long ago. A good friend recently told me, “Now is always better than never.”



Angela Scott is an author who diligently works to encourage and inspire you, and those with whom you live and work to continually find hope.

“Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.”

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