Senior Teach Day

Once again, yours truly has not been chosen by the seniors here in the Cauldron of Quorum as a role model for Senior Teach Day. All of the popular and pretty teachers have naturally been chosen again because if a senior is going to imitate a teacher, then they would really rather imitate someone they admire and respect.

I would find this annual snubbing more upsetting, but clearly these seniors are overly excited about their impending graduation and aren’t in their right minds. This is perfectly understandable and I promise not to hold a grudge. I’ll merely content myself with the knowledge that if they were thinking clearly it is patently obvious that they would choose the most expert teacher they ever met and when that guy turned them down, they would come ask me.

Senior Teach Day is a funny tradition and everyone involved has a good time with it. Students get to act out the worst caricature of their favorite teachers and the rest of the staff gets to breathe a small sigh of relief at being spared that mockery.

Some staff members complain that it is a day wasted that could otherwise be spent pumping our students full of last-minute facts in the desperate hopes that they’ll do well on the End Of Course tests. Frankly, these teachers need to remember what high school was actually like as a student. It is almost a guarantee that you remember it as a long tedious slog briefly and thankfully punctuated by small moments of excitement and fun. In fact, I’m willing to bet that it was those brief moments that helped anchor the tedium in your memory and without them you’d remember even less from your classes.

As a modest example, I submit to you the verifiable fact that I am a poor chemistry student. I was only able to pass chemistry (at any level) through brute force. I had to chain myself to a desk and simply memorize patterns well enough to be able to reproduce them on a test; at no point did I ever really understand what I was doing. However, I clearly remember everything I was ever taught about exothermic reactions because through misreading the directions I set my lab equipment on fire and only just missed igniting my chemistry teacher’s blue skirt. (That was a fun day!)

The one thing that teachers cannot allow themselves to forget is that when you were a student; school sucked. This is a priori knowledge possessed by all teens and any evidence to the contrary is treated automatically as an exception to the rule. With this understanding if there is a small chance to allow the students have some fun (even if it is at our expense) then I think we should seriously consider it.

For those teachers out there who might feel that allowing students to poke fun at you for a day will somehow lower other people’s opinion of you, I have only this to say: you are a school teacher. That’s already as pitiable a station in life as it gets. I’m sure that you’ve had people give you the pity look when you tell them what you do. I get it regularly from my electricity meter inspector. If you took this job for the fame, prestige, and respect it would garner then you missed it by that much!

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