Thursday, May 25, 2006

School Memories: The Ogre English Teacher

As the school year comes to a close--only eight more days remaining--and I am about to end my time in this Minnesota district, I'm becoming reflective. I have so many memories from my time, many of them heretofore unmentioned. It is easy, as the students become antsy with the countdown and beautiful weather, to wish these days away. I've decided to be deliberate and focus on some of the defining moments of my past two years. Perhaps this will make me more patient and forgiving during these trying times!

I love the relationship I have had with my students. When students have mock-grumbled about a minor issue and jokingly called me on it, I retort with humor, often referring to myself as the Ogre English Teacher. It's pretty easy to assign homework or give tests when you're the Ogre English Teacher. This title can be altered for your own use, if desired. For instance, you can be the Ogre Computer Programmer, or the Ogre Patent Lawyer. Even the Ogre Art Curator could work.

One day in class, a middle-school student entered my room asking, "Are we doing anything fun today?" I countered with, "No, absolutely not. In fact, we're not ever allowed to do anything fun in English. It's part of the hiring process, to find the dullest candidate so they can beat out any love you formerly had for the subject. The moment I would ever attempt to do anything fun with you, men in trench coats, shades, and microphones in their sleeves will storm in here and haul me away. I can't take that chance." Another student, not understanding the banter that was going on, looked at me with his upturned face and puppy-dog eyes, "But Mrs. H, they haven't taken you away yet, and we've done TONS of fun things!" Needless to say, the original student was not amused by this show of devotion!

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