Father, son share first-grade teacherPublished 10:07pm Friday, May 31, 2013
Teresa Singleton remembers the year she had Zack Mixon as a first-grade student at S. W. Snowden Elementary School.
“We were in a single-wide, and I had 29 students,” she said. “When I looked at that roster and saw so many boys, I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to have my hands full.’ But they turned out to be the sweetest group of boys.”
Nearly 30 years later, one of those sweet boys has a son in Singleton’s Eastern Elementary School first-grade class. Zack Mixon requested Singleton’s class for his son, Cade, and was thrilled when the request was granted.
“He was a joy to teach, as is his son,” said Singleton.
What the elder Mixon remembers most about Singleton is her beauty.
“The blonde hair. She was a pretty, young teacher, and we all were mesmerized,” he said.
“They call it gray now,” quipped Singleton, in her 35th year of teaching.
Mixon told his son about the mats used to line the floors at naptime, surprising Singleton when he said he still had his mat.
Mixon and Singleton agree that the school environment has changed so much over the years. Mixon said today’s students are as close knit as he and his friends were.
The curriculum also has changed.
“They’re pushed a lot more than when we were little. It’s amazing how much they retain,” he said.
Singleton said the switch to the Common Core Curriculum made first grade more difficult.
“But they’re like sponges. You’d be amazed at all of the information they can absorb,” she said.
Singleton runs into former students more and more these days. It’s one of the benefits of a long career. She said she remembers their faces and is always surprised that students remember her.
Singleton said her career is far from over. After all, Mixon has a daughter she will have to teach.
“I’ll know when the time is right,” Singleton said. “This is my 35th year, and I feel I’m not ready to stop. I can honestly say there hasn’t been a day I didn’t want to come to work.”