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Thread: The Teacher's Confession

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    The Teacher's Confession


    The Teacher’s Confession


    The Teacher’s Confession

    The grey-haired scholar looked up from the pile of papers scattered across his desk. Then he sat back in his chair and looked at us. I wasn’t supposed to notice, I was supposed to be working, or as he put it, “on task”. But I, the slim customer, the class clown, was sneaking a peak. Then, assuming the pose of Rodin’s Thinker, with his head balanced on his fist, he used his chair for a stabilizing rock. I knew thoughts were brewing in his ancient noggin, I just didn’t know the flavor.

    Not yet.

    He glanced at the clock, then stood up and started walking down one row of desks and another. I thought for a minute he was going to get nostalgic, tell us about when he was young and drove for Yellow Cab, back when he was starting out in life. Old men are fond of nostalgia; it becomes their escape of choice. At first you couldn’t hear him, he was talking so softly, but that was only one of his ten thousand ways of getting all 36 of us listening. And it wasn’t the cab story after all.

    “A person must plan for the future, and for most of you, work or school or a combination of both is your immediate future. So you must consider your options and interests and plan. You will be your own boss. If you don’t plan, you may end up like a person I know well.

    He didn’t consider his own future, and now, even though he’s of retirement age, and should be on some tropical island, under an umbrella, sipping on a Pina Colada with his toes in the sand, he’s still hard at work teaching kids not to make the same mistakes he did.

    Today, the SWBAT is, Students Will Be Able To- guess what a particular job is, based on the description. But you all know me by now. You know it will be ridiculously easy. Write it down on a piece of paper with your name. Each correct guess will earn a Botan rice candy. Ready?

    First it’s the Pledge of Allegiance; second, they take roll, then on with the show.

    They push pencils, design lesson plans, chart, mark with markers on white boards, give lectures that would put a coffee-drenched motor-mouthed psycho to sleep, arrange furniture, enforce cryptic laws of grammar, and teach 21st Century manners to minors.

    That’s ain’t all folks. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    He or she manages crowds of students in mass, like an Exodus of Learning. Yet they hear every individual sigh, inspirational answer, bored yawn, comment, or complaint. Their ear favors no man or woman.

    They moderate like a seasoned moderator at the United Nations.

    They gauge, measure, and adjust the environment. He is king or she is queen of the thermostat and lighting conditions.

    They are a bean counter supreme while taking the roll, a construction foreman when it comes to projects involving paper, cardboard, scissors, white glue, Popsicle sticks, and Legos.

    They are called on to be a mentor, psychologist, a coach and nurse, a spokesperson and philosopher, a futurist who teaches history, an artist who’s a mathematician.

    To the younger students they teach calligraphy, and to the older ones, become their editor. They are an inspirational speaker, a muse, and life-coach extraordinaire. They are a human dictionary, Thesaurus, encyclopedia, and loose-leaf book of facts rolled up into one. They deliver the news like a polished newsperson who never uses a script.

    They are secular fathers who listen to confessions like, “The dog ate my homework,” and “My computer battery went dead,” and offer academic redemption through application, study, and hard work.

    Hollywood courses through their blood, so they are a producer, a projectionist, and sound system specialist. They are capable of running various machines of learning. The inner workings of computers and other machines and devices of the present and future are not beyond their grasp. While the rest of the world suffers Future Shock, they are up to date on everything.

    Well…maybe…sometimes.

    ©Steven Hunley 2015

    https://youtu.be/m_9hfHvQSNo Father Figure George Michaels
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 05-13-2015 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    And yet they still have time for union activities! Imagine that!

    My own opinion is that the training of teachers could use a philosophical revolution, to wit devoting less time to learning the tricks of the trade (methodology) rather than building solid knowledge of a chosen subject. Think of the teachers -- I'm guessing there may have been a couple-- who truly inspired you. I'm sure they were the ones who were genuinely passionate about their specialty subject, not "implementing" a lesson plan or "facilitating" assessment.

    Even so, this is nicely presented, Steven.

    PS I heard that kids are no longer being taught penmanship in many public schools.
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 05-16-2015 at 05:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    I think your idea about penmanship is true. Somewhere in the south county I was teaching English. They were doing an essay, and the ones that didn't have their laptops were handwriting. Five of them had those sheets we used in 2nd or 3rd grade to write script, with examples of all the letters, capitalized and lower case.

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Working a an educatorfor the most part of my life I identified myself with that story.
    I slight change in the last sentence that suggests itself to me:
    "...they are expected to be up to date on everything."
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  5. #5
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    I can't change it here but have changed it on the original manuscript. That was a simply great suggestion. Thank you!

  6. #6
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    You are welcome, Steven!
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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