Letter to the Editor: What Is a First-Grade Class?

A first-grade class is a group of six-year-olds, none of which look, act, think, behave, talk or grow in the same way. Its members are all victims of the magical age during which they pass from five-year-old babies to seven-year-old children. It comes with assorted needs, ranging from affection to Kleenex. It has stars in its eyes and loose teeth in its mouth, questions on its mind, Band-aids on its knees, forgiveness in its heart and peanut butter sandwiches in its lunch.

A first-grade class is able to put more things on a teacher’s desk during the first few minutes of school than any other class can accomplish in a full day: a piece of Daddy’s birthday cake, a pretty stone, three phonograph records, a favorite book, a snail, a broken thermos, and a nest with a broken egg or two.

A first-grade class is fond of ice cream cones, dead birds, animal stories and tales of how others lost their teeth. It enjoys being read to.

A first-grade class is able to steal all of a teacher’s time with just a little, evenly divided, unplanned effort. A skinned knee, a lost snack, a broken zipper, a case of the measles, an untied shoe, too small boots, and needed affection for one with a new sister or brother will fill the day nicely.

A first-grade class is eager to inform its teacher of all the latest developments at home. It spills paint on their clothes, and satisfaction in their soul. It takes something out of themselves but gives much more back when it leaves a note on the desk written in childish manuscript, but with deep feeling…I Love you ❤️

Lucille Kostka, teacher for 30 years

Sister Bay, Wisconsin