As a student, and as a parent, there were first-day butterflies

Published 5:40 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

I still remember those feelings I had on the first day of school.

I was always a little groggy since the night before had been spent tossing and turning in bed with apprehension. Even though my first day of school outfit was all laid out, nice and neat, and ready to put on when I woke up, the trepidation of not knowing which teacher I would get or if any of my friends would be in the same classroom kept my stomach in knots.

The nervousness only mounted as we got to the school. At Jett Elementary, the teachers placed sheets of paper outside of their doors with the names of the children in their classroom. 

Some of you might remember Jett School. It was located near the Mississippi River, close to where the Waffle House is on Warrenton Road. Sadly, the school was torn down years ago, because I had always loved telling my own children that I went to Jett School. At first, they would think I meant jet school!

On that very first day of first grade at Jett, I remember my mom and me walking the halls to where the first graders were located.

Mom went from door to door scanning the list, looking for my name. I was by her side, heart racing and palms sweating.

She finally found my name on Mrs. Harper’s list. Obviously only being a first-grader, I did not know the teacher from Adam’s house cat, but what I did find out was that all my friends were in another classroom.

If it had not been for wanting to learn how to read so badly, I probably would have had a major meltdown on site, because walking into a classroom when you do not have a buddy by your side can be terrifying.

This distressing moment stayed with me, and every year afterward, those first day jitters returned.

Ironically, even as a parent walking through school doors on the first day, butterflies showed up.

Taking my babies to school was every bit as anxiety-provoking as my earlier days of racing heart and sweaty palms.

As a student you worry about who your teacher will be and if she will like you, along with the stresses of potentially being separated from all of your friends.

As a mom, you worry if the teacher will understand and appreciate your child’s uniqueness, and if the other kids in the classroom will be nice to him or her.

This week, the new school year will begin with our local schools.

There will be lots of excitement, but let us not forget there will also be a lot of racing hearts and sweating palms.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Post. She can be reached at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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