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Finding My Place: A Memory of My First Day of First Grade



What I remember most about my six-year-old birthday was the rain. It was my first day of first grade and I was riding a school bus for the first time — I never attended kindergarten.


Mom hugged me goodbye at the bus stop.


I arrived at my school. Dripping wet, I was thrust into a scrum of children. It was noisy, chaotic.


I had been instructed to go to the first-grade classrooms. But which one?


I walked into a room filled with boys and girls. They had already hung up their raincoats and found their seats. I stood by the blackboard and looked out at this sea of strangers. The teacher, Ms. Hall, leaned down,


“What is your name?” she asks.

“Peter Luckey” I said.


Minutes later, Ms. Hall says, “Peter, I am sorry. You are not on my list.”


If I was not crying on the outside I was on the inside. I was scared. I was lost. I wanted my mommy.


Ms. Hall reached out her arm and said in a kind voice, “Peter, you belong in Ms. Stroud’s classroom. Let me take you.” This kind woman reached out her hand and guided me to the place I was supposed to be.


Has something like this every happened to you? Have you ever whispered to yourself, “I am not sure I am in the right place”?


Whether we are six or ninety-six, the work of finding our place never ends. Neither does asking the big questions: In my heart of hearts where do I want to be? How will I know when I am there? If I could look down from 30,000 feet, where do I see myself being?


The truth is, from time to time, we could all benefit from having a coach. This is someone who helps us ask these questions, someone like Ms. Hall who on a rainy first day of first grade offered a little boy a guiding hand.


Could you use a guiding hand; a coach? I look forward to hearing from you.

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