Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A story from last week... and one from today.

For some reason, a bunch of my former students have dropped by over the past couple of weeks. Three came in to fulfill a community service requirement at their new school. They asked if I had anything for them to do (this is another benefit of having a classroom next door to the principal's office - when the volunteers show up, I pop my head around the corner and offer to put them to work).

Anyway, I asked one girl (whose brother is now in our sixth grade) to help out in the classroom. We were (and STILL are) typing up lab reports about momentum, and I figured she'd done enough lab reports and learned enough spelling to be helpful to the babies. She is a very bright, compassionate, creative girl who got so-so grades due to disorganization. In her last year at our school, she got much more focused on her long-term goals and what she'd have to do to reach them, which was kind of cool to see.

As I was working with one group of kids, I listened in on what she was saying to another group, "Okay, so you need to write your Procedure so that if someone walked in here who had no idea what you were doing, they could figure it out from reading your lab report."

And later, "How many G's in 'beginning?'"

Dude. It was like I was hearing myself teach; one of those rare* moments when you know you've taught someone something.

*****

Today, after school, a group of kids from our documentary photography class told me they were making an ad and they needed someone to play the teacher, was I willing to do it? I agreed, but it was two minutes before I was planning to leave to get to yoga on time, so we scheduled my film appearance for next Tuesday. Later, I found out that what they were really casting was "a teacher who can act really annoyed and grouchy."

Take that, swelled head!

*****

*Has anyone else noticed that these moments happen way more often in movies about teaching than they do in real life? ;-)

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