Suprise School Visit (DC part 3)

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While I was in DC I did five school visits to fabulously brilliant children. (The fact that they liked my books is proof positive of their brilliance.) However, I must say that the most memorable was the surprise visit I did to my old fifth grade teacher’s class. The librarians and I sneakily set it up without him knowing anything about it.

They told Mr. Kuykendall that all the fifth grade classes were required to go to a reading and writing seminar in the library. He has been teaching for nearly forty years so he wanted to skip out of the seminar, but they were insistent.

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He walked into the room and glanced over at me with absolutely no recognition. (Some of you may be surprised to learn that I’ve changed since the fifth grade.) In his defense he told me later that I didn’t hold his attention because he quickly realized that every important person at school was in the library (including the district photographer). What was the principal doing at a reading and writing seminar?

Then he looked at me again, and it all sunk in.

I would have felt really bad if he’d actually had a heart attack before my presentation—and I suppose I should have thought about that before I surprised a sixty-one-year old man. But he survived the shock and had a good time listening to my presentation.

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I had many good teachers, but Mr. Kuykendall will always be my favorite. He is one of those really extraordinary teachers that other teachers hate because he sets the bar so high.

He was an especially good teacher for me to have in fifth grade because up until that point I had pretty much just day dreamed through school and saw no point to changing my ways. Mr. K made me believe I was smart though. My grades went from C’s to straight A’s that year. He also told me that I was going to be a writer one day. He bought me a blank book and told me to write a story for him so that after I became a published author he could tell people he had my first book.

So he does, but don’t get excited because I guarantee you I wasn’t a child prodigy and it’s nothing that you’d ever want to read—unless you want to read bad writing in order to feel good about yourself. It might work for that.

I told his current fifth grade class all about this and they agreed that he is a marvelous teacher and thought my old class picture of him was hilarious. (Have to love those 70s shirt collars which could double as hang glider wings.)

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Afterwards another teacher covered his class and Mr. Kuykendall, my husband, one of his good friends, and I went out for lunch. It was nice to get caught up and spend some time together. As far as school visits go, that one will always be one of my most memorable.


Suprise School Visit (DC part 3) — 19 Comments

  1. First Comment Again! Ok, Sorry. Hurray for good teachers. If i didn’t have a few good teachers here and there i would’ve thought they were all evil

    I got a new blog today, but it will problayy be as bad as the others

    sorry about my spelling but i’m in a hurry

  2. Wanted to remind:

    There are 23 days left and counting, ladies . . . if you have the most wonderful husband in the world, you need to nominated him!

    I know there are other wonderful husbands out there. Until midnight November 30, 2007 I will be taking nominations via this email address The six finalists will be posted, please send a picture with the nomination, on December 1, 2007 when voting will commence and the winner will be chosen by you. Sadly, because it would just be skewed, my husband cannot win although I think he’d be a shoe in. On December 15, 2007 the winner will be announced.

    We have some great husbands already nominated, but I know there are more out there. So start nominating! Tell me about your husband and why you think he is the Best Husband in the World! That would be world . . . ladies, no geographic boundaries.

  3. I’ve often wished that I could do what you did, but I seriously doubt that Jefferson Elementary or Gladish Middle will ever have a “Librarian Day”. Besides, Mrs. Gray would probably crush my ego by telling me that Al Sorenson was a finnier class clown. 🙁

  4. Chuck,
    I can’t believe you even remember who the librarian was. I can picture the one at Gladish, but that’s it as far as my childhood librarians go. You were obviously destined to be a librarian.

  5. I know this post is from 4 years ago, but I just gave him a surprise visit today. I was in his 5th grade class back in ’91-’92. He told me about your visit to Candlewood and how completely shocked he was. I love the guy!

  6. Hi, do you know if Mr. k is ok? I really loved him as a teacher, he was so caring! I wanted to know if there’s any news about him? Please! Thanks 🙂

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