I found four elementary school class photos in a box of stuff this week. The one above was second grade in the paleolithic era 1974-75. The teacher, Miss Numer, recently retired from 40 years teaching second graders in our school district.
Sadly, Miss Numer died from cancer a few weeks ago. The online guestbook from her obituary includes comments that reflect the lasting impact she had on countless children, including the kids of some of her first students:
The year was 1972, and I was so excited to find out that I would have Miss Numer for 2nd grade… I can still see her long wavy red-orange hair molded around her gentle face and big glasses…29 years later, my daughter had the honor of being taught 2nd grade by…Miss Numer. …What a blessing it has been to have our lives touched by her.
Joan ‘Miss’ Numer had a huge impact on who I am today, as well as all the other students she impacted over her forty years of teaching. She entered my life as my second grade teacher. I always remember her as a kind, caring, and truly dedicated teacher who would do all in her power to ensure her students’ success.
My daughter and I are fortune to call Miss Numer our favorite teacher. Her ability to make each student feel like the most important person in the room for 40 years is remarkable.
I can’t help but remember how friendly, calm and admirable Miss Numer was. Not only was she teaching when I was in grade school but my son had the pleasure of getting to know her as well.
I myself have vivid memories of her classroom. It was situated at the top of the stairs, next to the girls’ bathroom, in the “old” elementary school building. I can picture it as plain as day, though the building’s been gone for decades. I remember beginning to learn cursive in her class. I also remember the life-lessons – no pushing in line and all that.
In high school, I joined a club geared towards encouraging students to pursue teaching as a career. I was lucky to spend time assisting Miss Numer in her second grade class. Although the elementary classrooms were now located in a brand-new school building, Miss Numer was the same teacher I remembered. She took great interest in nurturing students throughout their school years.