Early Life in the Coal Camp-First Grade


red-hair.jpgWell, the day has finally arrived for me to get some new clothes, tear myself away from my mom and go to the Mammoth Grade School.  The first grade class was on the first floor and Miss Hall was our teacher.  I can still see her red hair and gazing blue eyes that just seemed to see through me.

When I started to school I already knew my numbers, alphabet and could read a little.  Needless, to say this put me a little ahead and I finished my work before most of the other kids.  This was not good.  I liked to be funny or talk when I finished my lessons.  Sometimes the teacher would have me help some of the other kids with their work.  I would start talking and the teacher would call me down.

We always said the pledge of allegiance each morning before we started our classes.  I will never forget the morning I was about to pee and it was time to say the pledge with our hand over our heart.  Well, for a first grader it is hard to raise your hand to leave the room when you must place your hand over your heart.  I thought ……I can hold that pee…I know I can.  Well, that was the longest pledge ever and when we got to …..one national under God…..the pee started down my leg and there was no stopping it.

Of course, Miss Sassy Hall humilitated me by saying only babies pee their pants and why didn’t you go to the toilet.  I just told her I didn’t know how to raise my hand to leave and be expected to keep it over my heart at the same time.  She smiled and told me to go home to change my clothes.

One day I was making the other kids laugh and Miss Hall told me to go stand at the reading table and put my elbows on the table and read a book.  This was not a comfortable stance and I began to shift from one leg to the other and still giggling.

paddle.jpgMiss Hall when out of the room one day and told us to not get out of our seat.  Well…………this just made us want to roam around more than ever.  Most of us were out of our seat when she came back and she really got angry.  He said she was going to paddle everyone of us and we better not go home and tell our parents.  Paddling really hurts and no one had ever hit my bottom with a board before and I never wanted it to happen again.

Every child that got paddled told their parents and Miss Sassy Red Hair Hall lost her job and we were glad. 


About yellow6347

Memories, thoughts, life, business, God and family are in the circle of my life. I am writing the story of my life from Early Life in a WV Coal Camp in the 40's to the present time. Expressing my thoughts have made me very thankful for today. I hope they touch you.

2 responses »

  1. As an elementary teacher, I’m appalled at how you were humiliated when you wet your pants. I just want to hug the younger you and whisper that everyone has accidents, then scrub up the evidence while telling a story to the rest of the class to distract them. (I’ve been teaching 3rd grade lately & there is even an occasional accident at that age.) I’ve been known to spill coffee or water on the floor then send the child to the nurse because of the mess I made on their pants or shoes. And I’m not unusual with this trick. =^..^=

    I went to Farmington (WV) Grade School (not Elementary!) for 1/2 of 4th through 6th grade and paddling was allowed. Having come from a school in Annapolis, MD, where I never heard of such a thing, I was scared to death I’d do something wrong! I was never paddled but came close once for talking. I knew I’d get it worse at home, if I was paddled at school. Whew! Close call!

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