Monthly Archives: January 2015

What I Make

On Tuesday, I was talking about a version of the myth “Persephone” my students read with me in class.  For some reason, one of them had a mental misfiring and compared me to LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant.  I have no personal opinion of Mr. Bryant and am sorry he has to endure rotator cufff surgery.  Meanwhile, I whipped around and snapped, “Kobe Bryant? I may have a beautiful natural tan like Kobe Bryant, but I am not making $24 million and enduring surgery. Do you want to know what I make? I’ll tell you what I make.

“I make students sit down, and I make them stand up.  I make them read books they don’t want to read. I make them write. I make them say, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ and ‘No, ma’am.’ I make them think. I make doctors, lawyers, bankers, dancers, and future teachers.  I teach.” It was dead silent in that room. Their eyes were saucers because they saw the gleam in my eye.  When I told my husband and son later that evening, they replied that when I get that look, the best response for survival is “Yes, ma’am.” They were right. Thank you, Taylor Mali, for giving me some apt words to use as a gentle reminder that my chosen profession helps, guides, nurtures, and generates other professions in some way, shape, or fashion.

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Mid-Year Madness

“Look at my hands.  The gloves are off.” – This is the exact statement I made yesterday letting my young ones know that I was treating them more like seventh graders than sixth graders.  No more Mrs. Nice Guy, if you will.

“If you want your students to be better listeners, don’t repeat yourself.” This means that their parents email me with questions that their students can answer at this point in the school year.

“Why is Junior failing your class?” Did you ask Junior first before you decided to ask me?  The Swiss-cheese nature of my gradebook tells the tale of woe.  I send text messages, update my website, and send out mass emails about various due dates and supplies. I still hear, “We didn’t know about —.”

“We didn’t know about —.” Perhaps I should become a tattoo artist after all and start making my mark on the more forgetful of my young charges. Oy vey!

“Why isn’t this novel on your website?” It is copyrighted materials.  I make enough money to pay the bills.  I cannot afford a lawsuit from an angry author and publishing company.

“Why do I have to buy this novel if JimBob will only read it once?” I buy novels for my son every year; he reads them for his English class.  If he wants to, he can annotate in them for his studying.  When he’s finished with the novel in question, I add them to my personal library at school.  I’ll miss out on that once he heads off to college.

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