My Favorite Teacher (The Quality School Paper)greenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread
My Favorite Teacher
A Fictional Narrative
By Karen Rigdon
When the bell rang, to begin my third hour junior high chorus class, an immediate hush fell over the entire group. I consider myself to be a courteous person so I stopped talking with my friends. I directed my eyes to the front of the classroom and gave my full attention to our teacher. We all knew that first on the class agenda would be a story. We all quieted down because we did not want to miss the beginning of the story. Beginnings are important.
Mrs. Does story that morning was about a Border Concert that she had attended. A harpist was featured that evening and our teacher wanted to sit near the front. Mrs. Doe shared with us that she adores harp music. She even owns a harp but admits that she cant play it very well. Our class had a big laugh when Mrs. Doe told us that her harp is like a giant cheese slicer in her living room instead of a well used instrument.
The evening of the concert Mrs. Doe arrived early at the auditorium so that she could get a seat in the front. About ten minutes after finding her seat a toddler sat right next to her. The child had an older woman, possibly his grandmother, with him. All during the concert the little boy bounced around in his seat, stretched his bubblegum in and out of his mouth and made lots of disturbing noises.
During the intermission a woman came up to Mrs. Doe and scolded her for not keeping her child quiet! Mrs. Doe snapped defensively, That noisy little boy is not my child! Then Mrs. Doe, hoping to find a quieter section, took a seat in the balcony.
I love it when our teacher tells us her personal life stories to teach us a lesson. The point of Mrs. Does story was that audiences need to be better educated about proper behavior during performances. She also shared with us that during the evening of the harp concert she experienced a wide range of emotions including awe, embarrassment, anger, irritation, inspiration and finally peacefulness.
I can relate to Mrs. Doe as a human being, like myself, because she opens herself to us by telling about her trials as well as her successes. She relates to us on our level; she does not place herself above us. I think she really cares about all of us and she is so very kind. Shes like an older friend instead of a bossy, old, cranky teacher. Sometimes I wonder how she can be so patient with the rowdy seventh grade boys.
Another thing I admire about the way Mrs. Doe teaches is that she doesnt have hundreds of dont do this and dont do that rules. In the first week of class we all boiled down the many possible rules to just a few simple ones. We discovered in our discussion groups that if we practice courtesy in all our behaviors we dont need to make tons of rules. Whenever there are problems the people involved have to work it out. Students who wont settle down and continually disrupt the class get sent out of the classroom. This way Mrs. Doe doesnt have to yell, threaten, punish or get angry out they go and they know why.
We have lots of fun in our class and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. Sometimes when we all laugh I am sure we can be heard in the principals office! We also have two out of school get-togethers during the year with many games and goodies.
Mrs. Doe really wants us to be the best that we can be. Once a month, we watch a videotape of a really great high school or college choir. We discuss what it was about their performance that made it great. Mrs. Doe asks us the same questions after each video, What made that a quality performanceWhat can we do to make our performances top notch? When we perform in a concert we always have someone tape it so that we can critique it in discussion groups. Then the class reports to Mrs. Doe where we can improve. She is always asking us for our ideas about ways that she could be a better teacher or for our choices of new songs. That makes me feel important like what I want makes a difference.
Chorus class is different from all my other classes because we take our own attendance. We are each given a monthly calendar and we mark our own absences and tardiness on it. We also fill out a short form before our report cards are done that tells what grades we feel we deserve and why. It feels good to be trusted and treated like an adult and not a brainless adolescent!
I feel good about myself in chorus and I have fun too. Mrs. Doe is so creative and caring. She is my very favorite teacher and now you know why.
-- Anonymous, January 17, 1999
Hi Karen!! I have really enjoyed your fictional response!! Keep up the wonderful work in class...your questions and ideas are always appreciated!! Kim McDonald
-- Anonymous, January 18, 1999