Monday, June 5, 2017

Memory Monday-I Am a Teacher

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” 
― Karl A. Menninger     

NKC Logo
       I had always wanted to sister and I played "school" all the time, lining our dolls up as our classes. From the job fair I had attended, I had a request to come to come to North Kansas City for an interview.  This was before summer school had started the year  of 1962. I was back home in Pittsfield, Illinois when I got the letter.
      Even though I was 21 years old, I am living with my parents and still under their roof and their influence.  I didn't think a thing of it  when my mom offered to go with me to Kansas City for the interview.  After all, I had no car yet and she did!  Really, I was happy for the company.
     We get a motel near where the NKC admin building was.  Mom did stay there while I went to my interview!  I got a job offer contingent on my actually graduating that summer.  Looking back, they must have been hard up for teachers because as you know, I hadn't even done my student teaching yet! Or art was just one of those fluff subjects in their minds so it didn't really matter who taught it!
      Summer continues....I graduate....I'm back home now, waiting for my final contract from NKC which was sent once they got my records that I had graduated. So exciting!!  And here it comes! When I open it up, I also have my teaching assignment. I am going to be teaching seventh grade ART at a brand-spanking new school in North Kansas City, Missouri!

My first school!!!

     Now, if you recall, I had majored in English in the school of education and had done my student teaching in English....and I am going to be teaching ART!  I had never even considered teaching art because, as I have previously mentioned, I had never had a single art class in my life until college. I loved art and I had accumulated enough hours that it was considered a dual major when I graduated! But never in my wildest dreams did it even occur to me that I would be eligible to teach it!  As I said, they must have been really hard up for teachers!
     And I have to say, in the pinball machine of life, this was one turn that had a big affect on the rest of my life! Oh, and my first salary for the 1962-1963 year is a whopping $4,, not a misprint...Four Thousand, Seven Hundred dollars!


  1. BTW, I have not been able to figure out why the size of my print varies! I have tried to correct/edit, but it doesn't change!

  2. As you know we lived in Kansas City many years and a lot of it "north of the river". In fact, while in seminary I drove a school bus for the North Kansas City Schools for 3 years. I know the area well, it is almost home to me.

  3. When I started teaching in 1977, I brought home a whopping total of $515.00 per month. And, the funny thing is, I lived quite well on that amount in my little duplex apartment!

  4. I started teaching in San Diego, CA. I had graduated from Northwestern Univ. with a degree in elementary ed - and was living in VA and working as a secretary in the Pentagon. I got an application in the mail from San Diego, filled it out and sent it in. I never heard another word until a contract arrived in the mail. No interview. I was flabbergasted - but it sounded like a good idea, so I signed the contract and took off for the west coast. I taught there for five years, was married there, and lived in San Diego for over 20 years. I, too, earned under $5000 that first year.