Sunday, September 05, 2004

Those Who Can, Teach.

There is a lot to be said for the joys of being a teacher. I was a teacher for three years, teaching English to children of immigrants, autistic kids, and anyone who needed extra attention.

But if you asked me to remember the faces and names of every teacher I've ever had, I would fail. There are some that stick out especially; ones who were gifted or crazy. But most have faded until a blow to the head brings them back again.

A teacher is just one (if an important one) of the billions of factors that form a child's brain, factors which recede in necessity as life goes on and their direction takes better shape.


When I have an all-night whiskey bender with a former roommate and good friend, and spend the night on a cat-fur covered couch, and I stumble out into the daylight to attempt finding my car to get some contact saline, and I run into a former student who does not remember my name or even where the hell I'm from, (Mahita, from India, who needed help on her verb conjugation. HAH!!) but instead gives into her base impulses to reel from those who reek of scotch and cat piss, those who are red-eyed and itchy, those who are inexplicably happy to see you, then maybe the benefits of teaching are not so easily apparent. Especially when they squeak and hop on their bike, pedaling as fast as the drag from all those pink streamers will allow.

I reiterate.

When I walk into Denny's on said morning, and all I'm thinking of is a little tub of ranch dressing to dip my fries in, and I run into another prior student who has no idea who I am (Dennis, from Korea, SAT vocabulary!! Yes!!) but hides behind his mom at the prospect of an adult's salary meaning that Moons Over My Hammy are a gourmet treat and that clothes must always look slept in, then maybe, just maybe, we should let the little tots teach themselves the old fashioned way- a lion pit and two sticks. If the adorable little scamps can't figure out how to make fire before the lions get hungry, then the eternal scales of pass/fail land on the "wanting" side and the lesson is over.


Blogger Veebz said...

Oh Boo (of the Radley variety) ... Everyone knows that teaching is a thankless and completely unrewarding career. That is why teachers have to find their own rewards: like gold stars and Whiskey. If nothing else take solice in the fact that you have given them a lesson in the dangers of alcohol consumption and what to do (or not to do lol) the morning after.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Alcarwen said...

I contend that far from my students driving *me* to the bottle, the bottle drove me to *them*. Something has to pay for all these vodka tonics.

3:38 PM  
Blogger zzzzzoe said...

My favorite teacher was Ms. Meyers, in fifth grade. On the first day of class we all walked in to find her jumping rope next to her desk and singing opera. My family invited her over for dinner once and she ended up getting drunk with my dad and waltzing around the living room with a book open on her head as a pretend hat. And yet despite all the shenanigans - or perhaps, because of them - she was a truly amazing teacher and we all adored her. I seem to remember writing her love poetry, in fact.

9:17 AM  

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