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News editors don't get hugs in the frozen foods aisle the way teachers do

On Second Thought
Lead Summary
Lori Sorenson, editor

Seven longtime teachers are retiring from the Luverne School District this year, and it brought to mind a column I wrote several years ago about school teachers.
As a child, I idolized my teachers, so it’s not surprising that I spent many long afternoons playing school with my sisters in the stairwell of our home near Kenneth.
My older sister, Lisa, and I would line up our younger three sisters, Linda, Lana and Lavelle, run them through a battery of Dick and Jane books and math flash cards.
Playing school and playing church often looked the same, since the songs we sang in Leota Christian Grade School were children’s hymns, like “Jesus Loves Me” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”
Of course, preschool and toddler sisters weren’t very attentive, but it was very empowering to pretend we were in charge of a roomful of captive students.
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Klumper, who taught third and fourth grade for more years in her career than I was able to grasp at nine years old. She was known for her strict rules and a no-nonsense classroom style.
She wore polyester pants, paisley print blouses, eyeglasses and no makeup (except lipstick), but she smelled nice (like talcum powder). And she strolled up and down the rows of desks with an air that suggested matters were well under control.
And they were.
I think that’s what I liked about her.
The fact that she meant business made the times when she smiled all the more rewarding.
I’ll never forget how the words on the pages came to life while she read aloud “Charlotte’s Web,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Where the Red Fern Grows.”
She’d peer over the top of the book, waiting for shrieks of laughter to quiet so she could continue.
She also knew just when to pause for sad moments in the story line to sink in. She’d sigh heavily for effect and then continue.
Kids apparently still idolize their teachers. A few weeks ago in the grocery store, a little girl dashed across the room to hug Mrs. Sandy Klosterbuer, who returned the greeting with the same enthusiasm.
How many other jobs yield such popularity?
Newspaper work has its rewards, but I’ll likely never be hugged in the frozen foods aisle with such genuine adoration.
Lucky teachers.
Best wishes, Mrs. Klosterbuer, and all your retiring colleagues. And rest in peace, Mrs. Klumper, who passed away six months ago at the age of 92.
Here’s hoping the new teachers command the same presence in their classrooms and enjoy the same adoring little fans during their trips to the grocery store.

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