I will never forget my first grade teacher Miss Dorothy Hinks or Dot as she is known to many of us. She was a real beautiful teacher and a lovely looking woman. She was a stong person and she dressed her body to accentuate the gifts she had been given. She kept her nails neat, polished and trim. She wore just a small amount of makeup and she dressed to perfection, in my mind. I was only six years old at the time, so what did I know about style and self-preservation back then?
Ms. Hinks was the first female after my mother Joan Marie Finlay and Aunt Madeline who had influenced me in a positive way. I felt that I wanted to be a teacher after seeing how nice she was and what a great teacher she was! I think I judged all my other teachers on her manner and professionalism. She was a hard person to live up to!
I am sad to say that I can`t remember many details about grade one except that we got angel stickers, or at least I think it was back then. I loved angel stickers and a teacher who was as sweet as my mother. I know I learned how to read and print in that class. I tried to do my best and always got the best marks I could. I wanted Mom and Dad to be proud of me.
Let`s just say I was very disappointed the next year when I had a different teacher and Miss Hinks left the school to go working in a bank. I am happy to say I worked in seven different banks before I became a teacher in British Columbia in 1976. I enjoyed meeting the customers but I craved to work with little children.
It was through Facebook that I got to add Miss Hinks as a friend and then got to have a chat with her one night in Torbay. I was overjoyed. I had a chance to tell her what I thought of her as a teacher. I had seen her when she worked in a bank in Deer Lake. She was very nice and I was not at all surprised by this fact. She had matured nicely and still today she takes really good care of herself.
Teaching is not an easy profession. It takes lots of hard work and perseverence to be a good teacher. Miss Hinks had many traits, in my opinion, to be a great teacher. She loved children and she had a lot of patience and love. She took the time to make each child feel special, as much as that is possible. She accepted us as we were. I`m sure she became a great banker as well. I wish her great health and a long life of peace and happiness. This one’s for you, Dot!
If you were in our class that year, please make some comments about your memories of grade one and Miss Hinks.