English was always my favorite subject in school.
But I hated teaching it.
Thankfully, I only had to teach it one year, while also coaching speech and debate.
A lot of high school freshmen are thankful, too.
Unfortunately I taught English like a teacher I had for geometry in high school.
She’d stand at the chalkboard wearing these huge frog glasses with a Cheshire cat grin that spread from ear to ear, blandly going through diagrams – ‘proofs,’ they were called – expecting that I would get it as easily as she did.
And when you went up to her desk to ask her a question about one of the problems she had assigned, she sounded just like my fifth grade math teacher – “Can’t you figure that out? Well, go back to your seat and see if you can.”
You know what? If I could’ve figured it out at my seat, I wouldn’t be up here now at your desk!
I hated geometry.
While I was teaching high school I had this recurring nightmare that started out with me on my way to school in the morning, birds chirping, sun shining, all’s right with the world. Then when I get to my classroom, the students are seated and quiet, in an ominous, foreboding kind of way. I glance down at their desks and realize they all have geometry books out. About that time the principal walks by and says, “Oh, and Ms .Gary, you’ll be teaching geometry from now on.”
That screeching music from the shower scene in Psycho started playing at that point and luckily I woke up.
I’m afraid I wasn’t any better at teaching English.
I think when something comes easily to you, it’s really hard to explain it to someone else.
I found myself saying things like, “well, you just do it that way” or “but ‘him and me’ just doesn’t sound right.’”
Poor things went back to their seats feeling as confused and humiliated as I did in geometry class.
A bunch of them are still walking around thinking ‘him and me’ sounds right.
And I don’t have a clue about finding the hypotenus of an isosceles triangle.