Monday, September 15, 2008


I love teaching. Really, I do.

After a mini-lecture and some drills on run-on sentences and comma splices I asked my remedial students to do a bit of metacognition. In other words, I asked them to think about what they had learned and what they still needed to work on. I got this answer:
  • I learned about run-ons and comma splices. I need to learn how to do them in my papers.
I also got this email this morning (Monday), four weeks into the semester:
  • "I'm writing because i'm applying for [a benefactor's] Memorial Book Scholarship and it requires a letter of recomendation from a teacher.
    As you know due to financial issues i'm unable to purchase my books at this time, so i was hoping that you could help me out and write me a letter!
    let me know either way. I'm supposed to have it turned in by monday..sorry about the late notice."
What's needed in this letter? Where do I send it? Sigh.

I send my little darlings out into the universe at the end of the semester, and I've no idea what happens to most of them. I did hear second hand that one of my former students told a librarian that I was "a really good teacher." Those moments are rare as hen's teeth though.

Imagine my delight then, when someone who had attended one of my Civil War knitting talks (the one on purses) won a purple rosette at the Illinois State Fair! She'd been inspired by the talk to make her own beaded miser's purse.

Behold the multi-talented Dianna.
I didn't teach her to knit or bead or crochet or even enter the state fair, but still ... it's exciting.

Lest I start thinking of myself as some kind of amazing teacher, the kind about whom movies are made, whom Kennedy Center honorees thank, or on whom future teachers model their career choices, I should confess that I actually taught class in the outfit below. It seemed like a reasonable combination in the dark dawn. By the time I realized my error I was already in front of the classroom.

Maybe it's really best that I not know what my students are saying about me.


yoel said...

I remember all my good teachers and wrote them each a long letter when I graduated college. You should consider that email the current-day equivalent. Sigh...

Cindy said...

Teaching is one of the most difficult professions there are. I remember each and every one of the teachers that influenced my life and most of them had died by the time I realized how brilliant they were. Sorry. You "inspired" the miser's purse. That's awesome. And, the outfit? It's fine. Look at your color wheel;)