Friday, November 30, 2007

Wish I'd Had Teachers Like These

I don't know what kind of teachers you all had in school, but mine left a lot to be desired. Here are a few examples.

Miss D. - the English teacher/cheerleading coach who pronounced the W in sword and couldn't diagram a sentence to save her life.

Mr. C. - the Church History teacher who let the football players sleep in class to rest up for the games.

Mr. S. - the Social Studies teacher/swim coach whose idea of a curriculum was having students read articles aloud from Newsweek magazine. This is was we did every day for a year. Also, he'd hang his terrifyingly teeny tiny speedo from the classroom window. You couldn't not look at it. It was just there.

Sister Pearl Mary - the Major World Religion teacher who insisted that there might be "perfectly lovely" people of other religions, but they were "all going to Hell."

Sister Rosine - the Old Testament teacher who made me stand up and say to the class, "I'm the bride of Satan" because I was wearing red nail polish. (This was my first experience with Catholic schooling...I wasn't impressed.)

Sister Florentine - the Algebra nun who was a notorious ear twister.

Sister Clarine - the Biology teacher whom I genuinely adored, but the woman wore six foot boa constrictors. There's nothing more disconcerting that seeing a nun in a habit draped with huge snakes. Disturbing on levels I didn't know existed.

Sister Mary Projector - okay, that wasn't her real name and she wasn't really a teacher. I can't remember her name for the life of me. All day long, she walked the halls pushing the squeaky film strip projector cart...and never delivered it anywhere. I followed her one day and she just walked up and down the halls all day. I suspect Sister Michael Ellen, the library nun gave Sister MP a room number that didn't exist just to keep her out of her hair.

Now for some teachers I wish I'd had.

One of my daycare kids is taking a field trip to the Underworld. Her seventh grade class is studying the myth of Persephone, so Mr D. is transforming his classroom into the Underworld. I'm guessing there will be pomegranates for all.

My oldest son is in the eighth grade. His teacher, Ms. D. is absolutely amazing. She connects with the kids like no one I've ever seen. This is the woman who when there's a kid appropriate concert in town, she'll accompany the kids who want to go as a chaperon. She created a Parent Awareness Night for the school where all the kids researched topics that affect teenagers like underage drinking, eating disorders, drug abuse, mental illness, AIDS, etc and then presented their findings to the parents. It was fabulous. Right now, the kids are studying the fantasy genre and every day, five different kids get to draw from the bag of Super Powers to add a little fantasy to their everyday lives.

If s/he gets Power of the Mind, s/he blows on a recorder and she gives him/her a typed page of whatever needed to be written for the class period and s/he doesn't have to write.

If s/he gets Time Travel, s/he can travel back in time and change a missing assignment.

If s/he gets d Perfectionist, s/he will wear a cape and be considered perfect and complimented by everyone in class. S/he could say the grass was perfect and everyone would agree and compliment the wisdom of the wearer of the cape.

If s/he gets Technological Genius, s/he gets to wear a special headband and listen to music while you are in class.

If s/he gets Invisibility, s/he wears special sunglasses and no matter what s/he does, the class will not notice.

These kids are excited about what they're learning and are loving what they're reading. Luckily, I had a great mom who told me tales of King Arthur and Greek Myths as bedtime stories and inspired me. I'm not even going to get started on the Wildly Inappropriate Lullabies... My hope is that every child has at least one teacher who inspires them.

11 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

I adored my 2nd grade teacher, because she saw I was reading well above my grade level and let me go to the 'big kids' library (4th-6th grade) and check out books on her card. Unfortunately, 3rd grade teacher made me stick with our library, so if it wasn't for scouts, I'd have been bored all year!

Another adored teacher: 9th grade English. We had to write creatively every other Friday. Enough said.

Hated: 4th grade teacher. I wasn't one of her 'pets', so nothing I did was ever good enough! Lived in slight fear of 5th grade teacher, because he paddled, and his stick was on display. I wasn't on the receiving end, but witnessed one of my classmates getting it!

Fortunately, my kids had wonderful teachers at their old school. Unfortunately, they have not been so fortunate in their new ones. My son is having a major personality clash with one of his, and it's getting to the point of if he gets her again next semester, hubby and I are going to demand his schedule be rearranged so he can have another teacher!

Dakota Rebel said...

I had Sister Regina. She was so mean and nasty to me I would have nightmares (in second grade by the way) of her chasing me with a butcher knife screaming at me with glowing nun eyes. Still absolutely frightening.

My daughter has had great teachers so far. And my honey is going to be a teacher, and he will be a fantastic one. He is so great with kids and he is young enough that I think they will be able to relate well to him for a while.

Dakota

Margaret Yang said...

I want your kids' teachers! Maybe if I reach into the superpower bag, I can get "time travel" and go back and have them for teachers instead of the mixed-bag I got.

Brynn Paulin said...

Some of these teachers still scare me....

Amarinda Jones said...

As an ex-army brat I had a lot of teachers. The one that sticks out in my mind is a music teacher that told a kid, while in class, he was a dickhead. The teacher then pretended to faint to cover up for what he just said. It was excellent as we got out of music class early that day. I hated music class.

Margaret Yang said...

What is it about teaching? Some of the most gifted, talented, nicest, most dedicated people are in that profession, and also some of the strangest.

Then again, maybe you can't have one without the other. Kinda like writers....

Anny Cook said...

I was in nine schools in nine years. I lucked out and had excellent teachers... some more so that others. I was very, very lucky.

Kelly Kirch said...

Mr. Elliot, sexy stud of political science in high school who gave double meanings to everything and had a horrible temper, but it was hot! "What's wrong Kelly? Haven't you ever seen anyone screw before?" as he fixed the projection screen. (looking back as a mom, this is creepy. At the time, I fantasized about him like every other senior femme).

or Mr. P the portuguese teacher whom I could skip class on and still deliver her class mail later in the day. She'd shake her finger at me and I'd give her a sob story about a non existent boyfriend, bad period, or stubbed toe. She'd hug me tell me not to worry about it.

or N, the 30 something history teacher, hippie extraordinaire even well past hippie years who rewrote history to tell the story of oppression wherever possible.

Mr. Gunn, the yearbook advisor who hated me cause I'm female (okay he hated all the women cause they were female but I was the editor and a christian so that made me fair game for him to persecute) only to publish the yearbook and deliberately rename all female positions to the boys who never had to work in class. Pissed me off big! **side note, ten years later he became a christian too, tracked down my parents and issued an apology. Kelly vindicated.**

Jennifer Armintrout said...

I will never get tired of the story of Sister Mary Projector.

Molly Daniels said...

Cracked up my HS history teacher one day. We had to write the preamble to the Constitution; I had paid attention to 'School House Rock' on Saturday mornings, so I 'sang' it softly to myself as I was writing it. Afterwards, he stopped me before leaving class.

"McIntire, what were you singing during the quiz?"

"The Preamble, School House Rock style."

"What?"

I explained.

"You didn't teach it to anyone else, did you?"

"Well, if they watch Saturday morning cartoons..."

"Get out of my class." He rolled his eyes and shook his head. Needless to say, I was one of a handful who got all the words right!

JacquƩline_Roth said...

One of my co-workers is the best reading teacher I've ever seen. He dressed in a full Batman suit and came as a guest reader to the younger grades. He plays a review game where if you get an answer right, you get to shoot for a basket or do a bonus question for a point. If you are his neighbor it gets very loud, but it is a lot of fun.