So, today is National Teacher Day, and while you may find this a) self serving (since I'm a teacher), and b) foolish (since we should be thanking teachers daily with appropriate pay and work conditions), I'm gonna go ahead and thank a few of my faves from my 13 years of public schooling:
1. Mrs. Dolan, the first-grade teacher who was so stylish and so cool and knew how to keep a too-smart, socially awkward kid occupied. (That's with books, folks--lots and lots of books!)
2. Mrs. Smuck, my third-grade teacher, who gave us lots of active learning and creative play and got me to learn my times tables along the way.
3. Miss Shapiro, who in the fifth grade had to deal with the social awkward, smart, and did I mention oversized? girl with a temper. It didn't always work, but damn I learned a lot, and directed my first play to boot.
4. Mrs. Basse--who got that same girl in middle school. Ouch. But I did speeches and wrote tons and learned. I also punched the kid behind me in the nose, for which I apologize, to her and to him. Though he did hit me back, so I guess we're even.
5. Mrs. B--my 9th grade English teacher, my 10th grade speech teacher, my 11th grade journalism teacher--and the person who encouraged me to apply to Whitman. Good call on that one!
6. The Hawk, who I think of every time I lift my purple or green pen to write on student essays, every time I put the five-paragraph essay model on the board and proceed to deconstruct it, every time a student is late or misses an appointment--because that was me. And she managed to express her unhappiness with that behavior without questioning my intelligence. And that's no small feat.