Remembering Tessa Poling

(02/07/2005)

Dear Editor,

I saw that Mrs. (Tessa) Poling has passed.

Such a fine educator. I still remember standing at her desk in the second grade, giving oral "book reports." When you read a book from the classroom collection and gave a satisfactory report, she would write the name of the book on an index card. At the end of the year you got to keep the card with a list of all the books you had read that year.

She would collect all the stories, rhymes, and things we had written through the year, type them up on mimoegraph paper, collect them all in a little booklet with construction paper covers, entitled "Our Stories," and everyone got that at the end of the year too.

I got a letter from Mrs. Poling just a few years ago.

She had come across my name in the newspsper somewhere. I was amazed that she would still remember one student from the second grade in 1961 and send that student a letter. (What was even more amazing was that the letter, simply addressed to Dr. Timothy Miller, Kingwood West Virginia - got delivered!). I wonder if classroom teachers today realize that sometime in the future, say 2050, some greying 50ish person will still remember something that happened in their classroom.

Timothy C. Miller, M.D.
Kingwood, WV