First Friday with the Crew: Back to School--already??

Hi GLIAS peeps--welcome to First Friday for August. It's seriously hard to believe it's time to talk about school again already, but there are a lot of school districts around the country that start classes at the end of this month. That got our crew to reminiscing--somewhat sorrowfully--about our favorite Back-to-School memories. Some are from our childhoods, some from our kids' childhoods--either way, hope they remind you of the "best years of your life."

Quite a few years ago my children finished the last of their schooling, so my memories of my own school year starts are fuzzy at best! What I do remember well, however, is that I was one of those weird moms who HATED sending my kids back to school every fall. We always had so much fun during the summers that I was sad to give them back to the world of academia. Because of that, every year on the weekend before school started, I threw a slumber-back-to-school party for my kids and their friends.
We always had a blast and filled the time with fall activities like having a campfire and making caramel apples. I'm so glad I made the effort because now I can look back and know I didn't wish away any of the time I had with my "little" kids--even though it went by in the blink of an eye! In one year my granddaughter will be starting school--that's how much time has gone by!
I guess that's why I fill my books with kids and animals--I can't imagine life without them! Here's the most recent book in my "Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys" series--there's definitely a great kid character in this one! (Check out precocious Lucky HERE!)

WHOA...I barely got used to the neighborhood kids being here during the day and now it's almost time to send them back to school? Time really does fly.

If you have kids, you probably get all their school supplies together. You carefully label each item with a neatly printed name. Your younger kids agree to the first day of school outfit, your teenage daughter agonizes over it, your talk your teenage son out of wearing yesterday's jeans... Before you know it, you're forcing them to stand on the porch for their picture. Cherish the moments!!

When the kids are slaving away in their classes...take a break with a fast-paced, catch-your-breath Texas Ranger. Heath's story is still on sale.
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School... Kindergarten. Junior High. High school college. Masters. In the blink of an eye it's done-
Now I have three in my family that are teachers and it certainly offers a unique perspective into teaching. I have a much greater respect than when I was in school, for sure. Though I did have my "favorite" teachers--Mrs. Beer, the young, fifth grade teacher with a handsome army husband who'd come to visit in full dress uniform. Mr. Herring, American History--who looked like a large Irish elf, but with a laugh and a wit that made teaching fun! And my beloved Art teacher, Mrs. Nebola, whom I credit with drawing out my creativity and teaching me not being afraid to use it! "Never give up. Things can always be changed," she'd say.

 When I had my first book signing in my hometown, I remember there was a sudden snowstorm and I feared not a soul would show. Guess who walked in that door? Mrs. Nebola. I told her then and will always believe that through her guidance, I now paint pictures with words, and creating a painting is exactly how I approach my writing.


I'd like to share the story of one of the best teachers I know, Aimee Worth-Kinnison who, with a carload of elementary students, brought down the Grinch of End of the Line one fateful Christmas Eve....


Following Faith, a short story
School teacher, Faith Featherby
My favorite Back-to-School memories include getting new textbooks, notebooks, and supplies. All those pages filled with things to learn, then the blank pages waiting to be filled with my notes, and the new pens, pencils, highlighters, and--the list never seemed to end!

Then one teacher said we would start all of his classes with a reading time of 10 or 15 minutes. We would just sit silently and read anything we wanted. I couldn’t believe some of my fellow students didn’t love this!

A great teacher is an amazing gift. In my short story Following Faith (currently only available in the Journey of the Heart anthology), my heroine Faith Featherby is a school teacher in a remote Oregon logging camp. She is unjustly fired from her job and discovers a new life, and a new love, after a single day riding a sacred Medicine Hat horse.



  1. Amanda, I love your teacher stories. I love remembering my favorites, too! And three family members who teach? That's fantastic. I think teachers are as worthy of respect and thanks as military personnel! Jacqui--school supplies are the best. I've carried over my love of blank paper and new pens and pencils to office supplies nowadays!!

    1. A new pen, just like a new book, is impossible to resist :)

  2. My nephew goes back to school next week... where did the time go?

    1. That sounds way too soon, Colleen! Summer needs to be longer.

  3. I remember my love of school supplies as well. In fact, after years as a student, and years as a teacher, I still have that September excitement and like to treat myself to something new. New notebooks are the best.

  4. oh jacqui I remember that teacher well and that 10 min was my favorite part to. but with Mr.J it usually turned into 15 or 20.
    and that was even better.

  5. oh jacqui I remember that teacher well and that 10 min was my favorite part to. but with Mr.J it usually turned into 15 or 20.
    and that was even better.

  6. I am astonished at the prices of the lists for kids to get. And yas, my husband is a retired teacher.