Thursday, September 3, 2009

Delusions of Grandeur

So I have assumed for a while that all my students would be thrilled to have me as their teacher--I'm energetic, fun, a relatively moderate grader (but then again isn't that a 'political' term?), easygoing, and I certainly make a fool out of myself nearly everyday. But that's no match for the emotional vicissitudes of freshmen nor those too preoccupied with being the stereotypical disinterested and stoic teenagers.

I made a joke about the water fountain at the opening of my first class the other day. In Massachusetts (and Rhode Island and elsewhere nearby), water fountains are referred to as 'bubblers.' Here I am making it seem like I'm on another planet or in the middle of nowhere, but no, we're smack dab in 5th most densely populated area in the US. Anyway, a student asked to visit the bubbler. Knowing full well what they meant, I took the creative approach and acted 1) excited that someone had brought a bubble-generator to school the first day, 2) faked a more-than-healthy amount of confusion about the transformation of a water fountain to a bubbler, 3) and compared the water fountain to a bubbly quidnunc or overly excited freshmen would-be cheerleader.

I also made a joke when showing them where the fire exits were or what our procedure is in my classroom during a fire drill or a lockdown. In the event of a fire, do this...In the event of a water landing, you could probably exit through the windows, but please do not use your desks as flotation devices as they will not float.

Overall, I'll say (and I'm an English teacher breaking this into percentages...) 75% of the kids 'get' me, and appreciate that I'm trying to enliven their experiences in freshmen English and that I'm trying to embarrass myself in an effort to alleviate their anxieties about high school, my class, and speaking up in class. But a fair amount either think I'm crazy or are too stuck in their desires to challenge me, test my boundaries, etc. I hope to win the majority over and have a perfect year, but of course these are grandiose dreams. In all truth, that would be naive to assume and I'd obviously be having delusions of grandeur. No classroom can be perfect and no school year can be perfect. There will always be those that choose not to 'accept' what I expect of them, etc. etc. etc...

Here's hoping the year is excellent. Again, it's only two days in...I expect on Tuesday I'll be able to give another terrific blog.

1 comment:

  1. "To be read in the voice of Connery"

    Yes, the bubbler, why it harkens back to my days hiking in the Highlands, searching the hills for natural bubblers hidden in outcrops of rock.

    One day we happened by a promising spot, when my friend Clark, exclaimed, "Got me one, Sean!" And he leaned down to scoop up a handful of brown bubbly liquid. Turns out a sewage line had broken 1/4 mile up the road.

    Poor Clark.