Three extraordinary Lansing teachers I remember

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Local Voices

Frank Fetters

The first extraordinary teacher I can remember is Miss Swofford, who later became Mrs. Brown. I was in third grade at Coolidge School, and she was going over the spelling words. She paused when she thought I wasn’t paying attention and made me come to the front of the room to review the spelling words with the rest of the class. I thought that was fun, so I got up, conducted my review of the words and sat down. Years later, she told my sister, Diane, that I impressed her when I did that. She always made learning fun that year, and that’s why I still have fond memories of her class.

The next teacher I remember and appreciate was Roland Clark, who taught 5th grade. He seemed to have an amazing sense of what students were capable of, and he challenged us in many interesting ways. When it was obvious I was just too vocal and disruptive, he gave me more challenging assignments and allowed me to work outside in the hallway, which I loved.

Then, when I got to junior high school, I was so much smaller than everybody else, I decided that if I flunked one grade, I could be with students my own size. I was trying hard to flunk English, but every once in a while, Mrs. Beare would give me an assignment that seemed so much fun I couldn’t pass up, and I would get an A on it. What I honestly couldn’t grasp, though, was Mathematics. But Miss Van Weldon decided she wasn’t going to let get away with that. So she assembled an additional class for me and everyone else who was struggling with Math during the study period at the end of the day, and she succeeded in making me a better Math student. I’ve had some extraordinary teachers, but to me, she was the best of the best.

Those are a few teachers I remember. Which teachers do YOU remember?

Frank Fetters, former Lansing resident


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