I like teaching high school students because…
- I can come to school the day after watching American Idol or Project Runway and go over every song or dress or emotional meltdown with a handful of students.
- When she was assigned on essay on the Bluest Eye, one student said the pedophile made her so angry, there was no way she could write about him and his place in the story.
- A student gets uncontrollable giggles while showing me the Talking Carl iPhone app.
- When asked to write about free will and fatalism, one student stated in his essay that this is something he thinks about a lot and then came up with an interesting analogy involving time machines and tomatoes.
- In creative writing, a student writes a line like this: “Trembling in death’s dry cellar, we shall not be liberated. Let our own light shine. It is our light.”
- …of the inventive Frisbee games they play on the quad.
- All the guitar players sit in a circle under a tree and challenge each other with the different songs they can play.
- …of the seriousness and delight they bring to class discussions, expressing sympathy for Billy Pilgrim’s sad state as a POW, or annoyance with Jean Rhys’ blatant symbolism, or delight to find out they like the monster, Grendel.
- The violinist and the cellist provide incredible, spontaneous duets outside Guy’s lab while I’m teaching Creative Writing.
- When we read aloud and dissect the famous “To be or not to be” speech, they see the beauty in it and tell me later that Hamlet is one of the best things they ever read.
- I love music and students turn me on to new and different music all the time. The latest? The Civil Wars.
- One student enjoyed Shalimar the Clown so much, she began reading other Rushdie books, while another student vowed to read every Vonnegut book after reading Slaughterhouse Five.
- I always find the student who shares my love of My Chemical Romance.
- When I ask them to find pictures in magazines to represent the main characters in The Odyssey, there is always at least one boy who populates the story with South Park characters.
- They are eager to learn, trying so hard, deeply emotional, and happy to be here.
High School English Teacher