It’s Thanksgiving time, that time of year when we teachers are glad to get away from our students for a few days. The year is starting to drag; the days are shorter, and the whining is louder. I mean, how many times can you tell Pierce that his paragraphs need a topic sentence before you just crumple up his latest paper without reading it?
I did read it. But Pierce's definition of “paragraph” is pretty loose, and I was hard-pressed to find a topic sentence in any of those.
However, it is the time of year to feel thankful, so I took a random poll of teacher friends of mine and asked them to list what they were most thankful for. Here’s the list:
Automated tardy slips so the student can’t claim she wasn’t late “THAT many times.”
Teacher development “so we can learn to be better teachers” (this teacher is a suckup)
Pre-made lesson plans for those days where a teacher can barely keep his or her eyes open
The students who actually read and follow the directions
Tina, the girl who asks insightful questions during class discussions of the novel
The fact that Eric fell asleep during that same class discussion so we didn’t have to hear his various witty remarks
Supportive principals and department heads
Parents who bring cookies and gifts, specifically gift cards
Other teachers who’ll hang out in the teacher’s lounge and commiserate
Being able to escape to the parking lot before Jenny’s mom can corner you to ask why Jenny has an A-minus, and what she can do to raise her grade to an A
An IT department that is genuinely helpful
I think that about covers it, so the next time you see your kid’s teacher with a frozen semi-smile on her face, you’ll know that she’s grateful for all these things. Or else you’re Jenny’s mom, and she’s trying to make it out of the parking lot before you can talk to her.