Guest Writers

The Way Mrs. Wheeler Rolled: Guest Post by Ricky Anderson

Does it get cuter than that folks?

For a chance to enter to win a bracelet from cutey, click HERE for details!

I’m pretty sure I met Ricky Anderson right about the time I met Tyler Tarver and Knox McCoy. They came strung together like half a six-pack. Here’s what I’ve learned about Ricky since August 2011: Snickers really satisfy him, he works on computers, and he gets precious little sleep because of that little person over there. —>

I also learned that his first grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Wheeler. Which is weird because my first grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Wheeler, so I kind of wonder if he is that Ricky kid who came to my school briefly and then disappeared. Probably not.

Please, please, please read his article “I am a Diva”.

And follow him on Twitter at @Arthur2Sheds. Don’t ask.

He’s a little defensive about that whole lack of integration thing.

• • •

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The Way Mrs. Wheeler Rolled

My first grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Wheeler. I found this especially fitting, seeing as how the old lady must have been ten years older than Methuselah. I was convinced if we were to give Mrs. Wheeler a sudden start, we’d have to ‘wheel her’ out on a gurney.

She was a delightful old relic, though. She was exactly twelve feet tall. She wore old lady’s perfume; the kind that made your nose wrinkle up into a prune.

I loved her.

She was the reason I went to school. The numerous bullies who traded my lunch money for a bloody nose or a black eye hardly bothered me. All my attention was focused on getting to Mrs. Wheeler’s class. It was one of my two main goals in life.

The other, of course, was to please Mrs. Wheeler. Any act that would make her happy was an accomplishment to me, no matter how minuscule. If her pencil tip were dull, I’d gladly whittle her a new one. When she needed the chalkboard erasers beat, I hastily volunteered. My hair may have resembled Ben Matlock’s when I was finished, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It was the first time I can remember finding self-sacrifice enjoyable.

I did these things not only because I loved her, but also because I owed it to her. You see, some bullies were worse than others. There was a whole gang of the really mean ones that got their kicks from my posterior. I accurately nicknamed them ‘The Meanies’. They practiced judo on me every day at recess. I knew the routine well. They would surround me, and I would begin to feel the fear creep over me. The name calling and shoving would commence, and the tears and pocket change would disperse.

One day as this was taking place, yet again, something out of the ordinary happened. I was picking myself out of the dirt when a lone shadow blocked the sun. The proceedings halted like molasses in August. The onlookers scattered as Mrs. Wheeler towered over the malicious would-be thieves. I knew all would be fine when she began scolding them with those scalding words of retribution that still ring in my ears to this day, “Come now, let’s play nicely, girls.”

Do you remember any of your teachers saying or doing something that they probably couldn’t get away with now?

30 thoughts on “The Way Mrs. Wheeler Rolled: Guest Post by Ricky Anderson

  1. I love Mrs. Wheeler, so much. And I love that you shared this story here. It’s nice to hear (real life) examples of teachers doing the right thing.

    And in this case, those words that she would;t get away with today – are perfection.

    {Great post, you two!}

  2. Actually, I can’t remember anything worth mentioning from my own past. But my mother taught Classics, at a fairly mixed sort of Grammar School. Inattentive pupils would find themselves brought sharply back to their studies by a dull sting from a very accurately lobbed piece of chalk from Mrs. B., who wouldn’t even have paused for breath in whatever she was explaining at the time. She seemed to get away with it, because when she retired, grateful pupils from down the years got in touch to tell her why they were thankful for the classical education she was so important a part of.

  3. Oh, I remember my third grade teacher, actually she was only my third grade teacher for half the year. She actually told us: “Do you know why your parents hit you? It’s because they love you.” She was strict as they come.

    She would grade your spelling sentences homework not by the character of their content but how neat the letters were. If letters were out of line, a big red SLOPPY would be scribbled across the whole page. She would then, after this mark of shame was returned to you, ask anyone who received this SLOPPY to stand up in their spots for a whole five minutes.

    I have to look back in my photo album to remember her name. I blocked it. But she should have not been teaching that semester. She had cancer and took her sadness and anger out on us.The second semester, a brand new teacher, the wonderful creative Miss Houser took over. And my third grade was saved. Would be happy to talk about her creativity another time.

  4. Hi Ricky! My homeroom teacher once body slammed me against a locker because I refused to stand up to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    I think he just wanted to get close to me.

    He could have just asked. 😉

    Thanks for being here today.

  5. Ricky – Best. Ending. Ever. I’m usually pretty good at spotting a twist like that, but you got me. And your writing is fabulous. Meanies, indeed.

    Renee – You go, girl. Get your body slams however you can. (Just kidding, actually. That’s horrible and I didn’t say the pledge either so. We should make out.)

  6. Love it!!!

    This makes me miss my time teaching 1st Grade. I loved those kids.

    I will share something one of my students said (that they probably couldn’t get away with later in life…). It was the first day and I had all the students sitting in our calendar corner. I was in the glider wearing a medium-length skirt. One of my students reaches over to my leg, slowly feeling my calf. She remarks, “Furry. Furry like an animal.”

  7. I’d love a teacher today who could properly zing her students. Think how much less bullying we’d have if these kids knew they were going to end up on the receiving end of a snappy one-liner if they pulled any shenanigans.

  8. Ricky, you need to tell your kid to cut it out with all the cuteness. I was way distracted and saying creepy mom things like ” I will eat you. I will eat your little baby face”.

      1. I believe I still owe you some salsa, right? (From my crack about thermal grease).

        But when will you learn to stop eating and drinking near PCs? You’re getting to be like the end users?


        I kid, I kid.

        This was truly a heartwarming story.
        My music teacher in grade school was similarly aged, but she seemed pretty tough. And she taught us “rah, rah, ree–kick ’em in the knee. Rah, rah, rass…”

  9. I had a teacher who would literally throw things at students when they said something he didn’t like. He connected with some erasers and missed with some other teacher supplies.

    1. Yikes. I saw a sub break a yardstick over a student’s head once. More scary than painful, but still…if you’re angry and violent, perhaps you should NOT be working with children!

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