high school

On the benefits of having them as students.

<I walk by several of my students before school as I’m digging for my keys.>
“Hey Miss V!”
“Good morning, gentlemen.”
“You looking for your keys?”
“I’ll find them, they’re in here.”
“Let’s all stare at her awkwardly until she finds them.”
<I pause my search to verify that yes, they are all staring at me silently.>
“I hate you all.”
<I continue the search. Find them after several awkward minutes.>
“We’re so proud of you!”
“You did it!”
“Aren’t you glad we were here to witness this success?”
“You’re so lucky to teach us.”


On being Christ-like

<Student asks the saaaame question for the fourth time in a row.>

“Like three times.”
“You dead Miss?”
“She’s dead.”
“She’s Jesus.”
“I’m what?”
“You’re Jesus, Miss. You die for our sins.”
“She’s more Jesus than Jesus!”

On achieving #lifegoals.

<Student pokes holes in the back of his notebook.>
“M—, you’re the worst.”
<Repeater student immediately leaps up.>
<Takes a lap around the room, giving handshakes and high-fives.>
“J—, what are you doing?”
“Finally, Miss! Finally, after over a year, someone else is the worst! It’s not me anymore!”

On summoning classmates.

“Miss, where’s Jake from State Farm?”
“I don’t know, I think you chased him off!”
“Jake from State Farm?”
“You know he always be wearin’ that red polo and khakis. And his name’s Jake.”
“Maybe if we sing the jingle, he’ll come.”
“All together, fam, all together!”
“Miss V, can we?”
“Um, okay.”
<Entire class sings.> “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!”
<Class looks at the door. No one shows up.>
“Maaan, that commercial’s a lie.”

On teamwork.

<One group was reluctant to present their answers that week, so one of my more enthusiastic students “encouraged” them.>
“You get up there. You a team, girl. There’s no I in team! But there is an M and an E sooooo…”

On the tempter archetype.

<Students are watching examples of archetypes in class as they take notes.>
“Miss, how come you used a lot of cartoons for this?”
“Well, the movie needed to be appropriate for school, and for this one, we used Hercules because I teach 14 year old boys, so I’m not going to play a clip for the “tempter” archetype with a real woman.”
“Why not?”
“Ooooo, boy, look at that. What’s her name?”
“Mm! She can Meg my day.”
“That’s why not.”

On contradictions in my personality.

<I look over a kid’s shoulder at the song he’s analyzing.>
“What? That’s a metaphor.”
“Yeah, it is. But I specifically told you not to bring trap music.”
“Look, Miss, you can’t just come over here while I’m doing my work with your giant skirt thing all pink and fluffy like some girl from my grandma’s day and expect me to know that you know what trap music is.”
“But I do.
“Look, just- pretend you’re my grandma and you think I actually like broccoli.”
“Nope, can’t do it.”
“Then change clothes.”
“You’re so difficult.”

On reasons for hashtags.

<The students are writing #summaries of an article in their groups.>
“We can’t just put the doctor’s name.”
“Why not?”
“There’s more to the article, duh.”
“Why do you WANT to so bad?”
“Because I just feel like she deserves to be trending worldwide, okay?”

On my levels of English nerd.

<Walking down the hallway, chatting with a former student during my off period, we run into another one.>
“Look, I’m just saying that you need to make better choices.”
“Yeah, but Miss-“
“You’re in danger of disappointing me, okay?”
<I side-hug the other student as she walks up.>
“And in case you didn’t know, my good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.”
“OH my God.”
“Nothing, you’re just the most English-nerdy English teacher in existence.”
“Didn’t you already know this?”
“Yeah, she has that tattoo…”
“The tattoo is almost cool. Quoting Mr. Darcy in normal life is not.”
“But you recognized it, in normal life.”
“It’s contagious. I’m infected. Tell my parents I love them after I die of shame.”
“Should I tell them that you could have easily forgiven my pride if it had not mortified yours?”
“Jesus STOP.”

On goals.

As rocky as the start of the year has been, I am pretty pleased with my classroom…

…and my students’ contribution with their goals.

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Some of the goals were super-legit and real…

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…some of them were pretty impressive…

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…and others are goals that I desperately want to see them achieve.

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Let’s do this, kids.