Monday, November 14, 2005

Literary Genius

I was at a car dealership this weekend. No, I didn't come into some money, but I was there because they have free drinks and cookies. The trick is to look like you belong there. Every once in a while take a stroll to the service center, look out that window at the guys working on the cars and check your watch with a sigh.

It's nice.  These car dealerships have soft couches and free cable television.  You see, the cable in my classroom went out months ago.  I found teeth marks and a frayed cable extension.  It was either a rat or a student.  I'm not sure which.

In truth, I really do get a lot of grading done there. It's funny. People think nothing of it when they see someone sitting there, shuffling papers; face a look of utter anguish, while gripping a red pen. They just shake their head and roll their eyes as they pass you, as if to say, "Sucker!"

Anyway, while I was there I saw a new teacher or a teacher soon-to-be. How did I know? Besides looking rested, she was reading a textbook about teaching methods. As if there is a recipe. You're teaching, not making a quiche. How do these books get written? After a teacher gets fed up and quits, do they go and write a book about how they thought it would be?

If you need a "how-to" book for teaching, then here you go:

1) Grab sleep wherever you can.
2) Grow rhino skin.
3) Laugh more than you scream.
4) Be ready to fail.
5) Be ready to fail again.
6) Be ready to fail an infinite number of times.
7) Steal from other teachers (ideas only, but food when possible).

There, slap some graphs on that sucker, throw in some quotes from some "experts" and publish it.

Hello New York Times Best Seller List.

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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. That's our story and we're sticking to it.