Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What it's all about

Last summer, I read Frank McCourt's Teacher Man, a memoir of his teaching days in New York. In addition to being funny and inspirational, it was absolutely true. I found myself thinking that he could easily be writing about my experiences. Even the school on the book cover looks like the one where I work. (Then again, probably every school built in the early 1900s looks like a cross between a museum and a prison.) Reading his book, for the first time ever, I realized that others go through the same exact things as I do in the classroom. It's strange; when teaching, you're working in front of dozens of teenagers, yet it's one of the loneliest jobs out there. That's because when you actually do your job, you're alone. No colleagues. No teamwork. Just you and a bunch of adolescents, who may or may not want to be there, who may or may not even acknowledge your existence. So who knows what really goes on during those 46 minutes in other people's classes?

There was one part in Teacher Man that I found a little unbelievable -- that students actually called him "teacher man." That, for some reason, seemed just a little too made up. Then, as if on cue, a couple of weeks into this school year, a student raised his hand in my classroom and said, "Hey, teacher man, what are supposed to do?"

And so here it is, a blog about some of the things that go on in the classroom. No complaining about the job (I hope). No ridiculing the students. Just the day-to-day stories that some of my non-teacher friends find amusing. Your comments and questions are much appreciated.

Whoops, and I just realized something today: I have to go back and change some of the titles to previous posts. They should say part 1 of 174, not 184. That's because there are 174 school days this year, and that's definitely one of the reasons why I teach.


Anonymous said...

Hey plonka! I got some of my friends to read your blog and now they are addicted. In my posse meeting, one of my friends started taking about it. I told them to leave comments.

ap said...

wow ... thanks! I was hoping you weren't the only one in Madison reading this thing ...