- …never have more students than desks.
- …have every student in class, every day.
- …have mostly the same group of kids at the end of the year as they had on the first day of school. If someone moves in or out, it’s a big event.
- …have some loud or obnoxious students, but only because they want attention. Inside, they’re all decent people who just need someone to reach out and understand them. None of them are consciously choosing to act like jerks or thugs, and all of them are secretly very, very bright, once you get to know them.
- …never have more than one kid having a serious emotional crisis at a time. Once that issue is resolved, another kid can have a problem.
- …never have any students who have been mainstreamed into that class due to politically correct special ed policies. They certainly don’t have ten of them.
- …never actually seem to do much intensive studying, drilling, or practice. All those feel-good group discussions of emotional discovery someone produce students who achieve very well academically.
- …are always full of students who look well groomed, healthy, and alert, despite involvement with broken homes, poverty, gangs, and substance abuse. No student in a movie looks or acts any differently than, say, your average young Hollywood actor. For some reason.
- …are always full of curious young adults who, despite being hard-partying hedonists, speak with the kind of vocabularies that, oddly enough, Hollywood screenwriters would have. They all know the difference between Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. They know their times tables. They can read for more than five minutes without falling asleep.
- …rarely have students who come to school high. If they do, they’re just good, smart goofballs who do it for a laugh. All ends well.
- …never have students who refuse to take the medication prescribed by their psychiatrist.
- …never have students who bounce back and forth between the classroom and juvenile hall.
- …are staffed by teachers who can magically command attention with a single request, who enjoy instant raport with their students, and whose off the wall teaching ideas always work like a charm. They’re certainly more effective than the crusty, strict teachers, who are invariably the villains.
Oct 19 2009
You forgot to mention that high school teachers always seem to have only one class–not five or six classes of students all needing their attention.
You’ve seen or heard Frank McCourt’s list that mirrors yours, haven’t you? I heard him tell about it, but apparently he discusses this in his book, Teacher Man.
Greg, good one! I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. I haven’t read Teacher Man yet…I regret to confess that I haven’t even read Angela’s Ashes yet. Alas, too busy blogging…