Southside to honor retired teachers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2002

In a couple of weeks most Americans will be spending their time buying turkeys and inviting friends and family over for the holidays.

Local schools, however, will be making preparations of a different kind. November 17-23 is American Education Week and Southside Primary School has big plans for the occasion, according to guidance counselor Shirley Turner.

Those plans include celebrating Retired Teacher’s Day, when parents, students and teachers can all recognize the accomplishments of retired teachers.

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Southside Primary School will observe Retired Teacher’s Day on Nov. 21 so that the former teachers being celebrated will be able to enjoy the first-grade’s Thanksgiving play.

Second-grader’s at the school are currently hard at work making posters about teachers.

Retired teachers will judge the posters after a celebatory lunch.

The program is designed to honor teachers.

Former Hunter Mission teacher Estherlene Chrishon likes the idea of a special day put aside for retired teachers.

Chrishon started her teaching career in the early 1940’s. Back then it was common for one teacher to have an entire school under her direction. Chrishon, for example, began by teaching grades one through six. It was only in the 1950’s that more teachers were introduced and her workload decreased to only teaching grades four and five.

Her favorite subject was reading, because she was good at it. Back when she was a student classes were divided into two categories: chart and primary. Chart class was for beginning students while primary class was for students who knew more and were also a bit older.

Because Chrishon was good at reading, she was able to move up from chart to primary quicker than her peers.

Reading was also former Shiloh Junior High teacher Ora Brown’s favorite subject.

Brown also said that students liked social studies because they already knew about the different places they were studying.

She remembered that when she began teaching in 1949 she made $96.50 a month. Only after receiving her bachelor’s degree in elementary education did her salary increase to around $230 a month.

According to Brown, that’s why it’s important to remember Retired Teacher’s Day.