Teacher retires after 38 years

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

The Wiggly Jiggly class is her last one as a full-time teacher.

After 38 years, Betty Jenkins is retiring.

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On Friday morning, Jenkins attended an awards ceremony at John T. Morgan Academy and a few hours later said goodbye to her first grade class.

The class acquired the name Wiggly Jiggly before a school boosterthon where they needed a team name. The name is posted in glitter on one of the classroom doors.

Jenkins said every day has been an adventure. She prepares a lesson plan, but she can never predict what the day will bring.

Jenkins said retirement will be different for her. Children are her life, and now she has to find a new one.

However, she has had a full career. She had taught in the Dallas County School System for four years, then 34 years at Morgan and has also taught first-grade Sunday school at Elkdale Baptist Church for 20 years.

Jenkins&8217; retirement is also the end of another era. She and her teacher&8217;s aid, Linda Oliver, have worked together for 10 years.

Oliver&8217;s children are 33 and 31.

Shortly after celebrating Zully Montero&8217;s seventh birthday on Thursday, Jenkins read &8220;Getting Ready for Second Grade&8221; to her class.

The enthusiastic bunch said they were prepared to take on the challenge.

Mallory Wright said she has enjoyed Jenkins&8217; class and has learned a lot about animals.

Jenkins said she never thought she would have had such a long career, but has enjoyed the children immensely.

Not used to idle hands, Jenkins said she still plans to work as a substitute teacher and plans to travel with her husband to see their daughter and grandchildren in Trussville and son and daughter-in-law in Germany.