Wednesday, April 26, 2006

quick on the draw

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. I have used my power for evil, potentially scarring an impressionable youngster for life . . .
So remember when I was ranting about my students the other day? Well it seems I have crossed the threshold, discovering a new side to my mild-mannered self . . .
"My name is Anna, and I am sarcastic."

As happens more often than I'd like to admit, I was exasperated again yesterday. How difficult can it be, I thought, to convince the 4 students not away for the college tour to quietly write an in-class essay? Tremendously difficult, apparently.
The first 15 minutes was wasted on queries as to the wording of the assignment, complaints about the loudly lecturing teacher down the hall, comments about Ms. Mabel’s latest fashion statement . . . and the like.
Managing finally to get so far as handing out papers and explaining assignments, I was then faced with a flurry of questions as to the particulars of the story’s plot, characters, theme, conflict, and various other questions rightly belonging in the private lines of each student’s essay. So I told them as much. Several times. Finally the room quieted down.
Until Courtney forgot she was not supposed to be asking such questions anymore. She raised her head to reveal her perpetually furrowed brows and innocently wide-eyed expression and shot into the silence: “Was Jerry the one who ended up stealing the money at the end?”
Before anyone could venture a reply, I just-as-innocently said that No, that was Wally.
“Wally??” Courtney then began frantically shuffling pages until one of her classmates kindly explained that there was no Wally.
“Oh . . . ok,” And she began writing again.
Until she forgot that she was not to ask such questions. “So why did Jerry give the money back to Sally?”
Because Sally wanted to buy a bicycle for Billy.
“She did??” With a grimace of utter dismay, Courtney again began rifling through her text. A classmate kindly interjected again, and then turned to me:
Miss J—do we need to send you out into the hall?At that point laughter won out over wit, and I relinquished to my quick-tongued young student’s chiding. I was an utterly nice teacher for the rest of the class period. Promise.

1 comment:

JuliaWickes said...

If you had taught me in high school, I feel sure that I'd still be talking about that one rare teacher I had who actually sparked my intellectual curiosity. Maybe you should just try different tactics with your students, like being really mean to them. Then they could reap the full benefits of having such a teacher and will appreciate it retrospectively. Just kidding...but only half-kidding. ; )