I was so fortunate that when I got back to Gilbert, I was able to teach at Patterson Elementary School. I had opened up the year I was in Germany. My dear friend and mentor, Leona Shreve, was the principal and it was so amazing to be able to work for her. This was the start of a ten year adventure as a regular classroom teacher.
I started out the first few days of the year teaching fourth grade. Gilbert's growth was slow at that time, but new subdivisions were being built. There weren't enough students for three fourth grades so Leona asked if anyone wanted to move to second grade. I volunteered to do so. At the time, I was pregnant with Patrick and primary students got out at 2:00 p.m. and intermediate at 3:00 p.m. So it was a bit easier for me to have that extra hour. I only had 11 or 12 children to start the year, but by the end of the school year, I had a full class!
I liked teaching second grade, but knew that I preferred children just a little bit older.
The Patterson years were amazing! Leona Shreve was an incredible principal and mentor to me throughout my career. It was such a blessing that I was able to go to Patterson after that year's leave for many reasons. I will share some Patterson stories over the next several days.