Thursday, February 02, 2006

Life as an English teacher

As an initial post, I thought it only appropriate to share some of the more memorable quotations I've encountered while teaching English. Teaching consumes plenty of my time, and it's not unusual to have humor bordering on the absurd lighten what could have been a mundane day. I must add, though, that if I have a day that ends without some surprise, I would have to resign on the spot!

Last week in study hall, I had a student working on a FACS assignment. She approached me with questions on her homework, since an English teacher is bound to know the nuances of any subject, or so she thought. Luckily, I could handle this. She wondered if a slicing knife's more accurate term was a "futility knife." Alas, what is this world coming to when even our knives are feeling useless and experiencing depression!

Our school piloted a program where twice a week teachers could be in a smaller setting with students who opted into specific activities. From a young man with furrowed brow, intent on his task during my knitting activity period: "Knitting's a lot harder than cross stitch." That's right, tear down those stereotypes!

I'm saddened to say that I heard this from a sophomore student who is more familiar with the text-messaging language than her native tongue. In response to a journal entry written on the board: "Why does OK have an -ay at the end?"

Continuing in the vein of spelling humor, I had a student ask me the following during an American Lit final: "Mrs. H, I just had a brain fart. How do you spell 'learn'?"

One male student, shocked that we were continually encountering primary texts in an American Lit class, had this to say, prefaced with a huge, put-upon sigh: "Is there EVER going to be a week we DON'T have to read?" Unfortunately this attitude appears to be a growing trend.

More school-related quotes are sure to follow. Our profession brings out the strange and unfettered as we do our best to mold young minds!

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