When I was a lowly student teacher, I was placed in Odette's 5th grade classroom to learn of the secrets and ways of pre-teens and how to tame them into learning. Erika (6th grade teacher) also had a student teacher under her wing and together we made a perfect "mother-daughter" foursome.
Odette is awesome. She made it a requirement for every student going through Mill Creek Elementary to 1.) Learn "Paul Revere's Ride" 2.) Their times tables 3.) Their States and Capitols and 4.) Learn to throw a ball and serve a volleyball (properly). She has fierce loyalty for her family and her friends and would do anything for them. Her parting words to me every day were, "Go home, Amy. It will still be here tomorrow!" She is creative and organized and can pull off big assemblies and productions like none other.
Erika was a 60's flower child and was the laid back and calming force for us. She loves current events and always spoke to her students like they were adults and let them make decisions like how to arrange the room, how they'd spend "free" time and what book they would read next. She made sure that I was eating enough and encouraged me (although she isn't LDS) to get out and have a social/dating life.
They inspired me as a teacher and became second mothers to me, since I was all alone without family close by. We kept in touch through the years and then the fateful phone call from the principal (put into play by Odette and Erika) to hire me as a 6th grade teacher. I wouldn't have had the courage to begin my first year teaching anywhere else. Odette was right next door and Erika was across the hall.
Both Erika and Odette were hit with breast cancer. Erika about 10 years ago, and Odette the year that I started teaching. It was heartbreaking and we all cried together when we heard the news. But they are both fighters and beat it up and sent it packing. So every year we teacher friends from Mill Creek "Celebrate": catch up on life, swap stories, reminisce and then go out for breakfast.
Funniest "Team" T-shirt:
"Walkers for ________'s Knockers"
Sister Virginia H. Pearce
Top row: Amy (looking lovely and put-together), Sue (Resource teacher), Nancy (4th Grade), Mary (Erika's daughter), Erika, Heather (Odette's niece)
Middle row: Lisa (school secretary), Sue's friend (I forgot her name...)
Bottom row: Kate (Erika's daughter), Odette