Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Tale of Two Sketches

Today was the wrap-up session for my MWF classes. So fascinating to observe how differently students react to switching to a new teacher. Some are sad, some excited, and others ambivalent. I've taught one of the groups since I started at the school and the other since December; have grown attached to several of the students and others... not so much.

The unpredictability that each day brings never bores. Sure, it can amuse, frustrate, challenge, and/or inspire, but it never gets dull. Take tonight. During this particular class, one student drew a picture of a monkey and then announced that it was supposed to be me. I was annoyed because she's usually well-mannered, and it seemed rude for her to interrupt our class discussion to share her sketch (am I crazy or is it still disrespectful to refer to your teacher as a monkey?). I called her out on it and urged her to apologize, which she did. Usually when students are rude, I address it and then move on as if the event never happened, so that's what I did (even though inside I felt a little ruffled; not gonna pretend otherwise!). At the end of class, another student handed me a note. Initially I thought it was one he'd found on the ground, but then he told me to open it. Turns out he'd written it -a thank you note for being a good teacher. He also drew a cartoon which, upon first glance, appeared to be a teenage boy with bushy eyebrows, flexing his arms. However, I realize now the sketch is of me given that the character is wearing an ensemble identical to what I had on.

Moral? I'd take thank you notes with androgynous cartoons any day over monkey sketches.

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