Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Miscalculation

I miscalculated somewhere in junior high.

It was probably around the same time that my friend Kelly quietly said in our seventh grade french class that she would like to be a french teacher. Mrs. Bonfanti nodded encouragingly. We all looked at her like she was crazy.

She was crazy because she wanted to be a FRENCH teacher. Not because she wanted to be a teacher. (French was my worst subject)

She liked french. And she liked Mrs. Bonfanti. This equated to "Wants to be a Teacher."

I did the same thing.

Mrs. Bonfanti doubled as my English teacher. I loved her. I loved her assignments. I wrote extra pages because I thought this is fun. I remembered her lessons. I can repeat in class work we did and her funny speech on "how not to give a speech" and how she always told Carter not to say "Crap" or "suck". She liked us. And that's probably why I liked her.

I made the miscalculation again during high school. Mrs. Bell's literature classes. I liked Mrs. Bell. I liked literature. Therefore...

I didn't realize the miscalculation until recently. Until the past six months. Until I now regularly stand in front of high school students and attempt to impart wisdom and insight and ENGLISH EVERYTHING into their brains.

Students don't like teachers.

 I had no idea. I really didn't. I liked my teachers. I can think of one high school teacher who scared me  (Mrs. Dincher, I'm sure you meant the best). I can think of one not so great TA in college and one professor that took as active a dislike to me as I did to her and one class instructor (phd student) that I wanted to see fired.

Do you know how many teachers-just from college- I actually liked?

Say I took 5 classes a semester, 10 semesters (I did an extra college year): 50-3 I didn't like - 4 (I took from some professors twice): 43.

But people don't like teachers. Teachers don't like other teachers. Students don't like teachers. I can't think of a population of people more disliked than Teachers.

No one told me.

So here I am, Teacher of English, a teacher who likes to be liked and definitely isn't.

Someone warn the aspiring youth who want to teach!

Or don't. Maybe this should just be a well kept secret. Because I bet the students who want to be teachers are the ones who like their teachers. And someone has to teach!


Kaitlin Sickle said...

That's how they got me in that major too!! Flip.

Glad to see you writing again :)

Anonymous said...

Or maybe only in Bulgaria a huge percent of the students don't like their teachers and it is not always the students' fault. Think about the gap you create between you and your students. Hope that'll help you :)

Dana Ray said...


Please explain this "gap". What do you mean by that?

I want to learn from you. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's not true that we don't like our teachers. Yes, we do. But we like teachers who don't create a huge "gap" and to whom we can talk about everything. Sometimes you're that kind of teacher, sometimes you're not. Try not to judge our behaviour and our words so much. And try to make your classes different - you know - songs, games, discussions. You can't imagine how differently can we behave in your classes.