Prompt: Write about a person who made a job more interesting
Jeff Lee took a nap every afternoon after lunch. He said, “I just can’t stay awake after two helpings of Lucille’s lunch.” Lucille was the cook in the school cafeteria.
“But you have a class after lunch,” I said to Jeff.
Instead of answering me directly, Jeff asked, “Do you know how a teacher knows if he’s succeeding?”
“No, not test scores. And not grades or principal evaluations. The only way to find out if your students are reallly learning to be learners is to see what they do when you’re not in the room or, in my case, when you’ve just eaten one of Lucille’s lunches.”
“But when I walk by your room, the students don’t always look like they’re doing anything.”
“Have you ever watched a youtube video of the Beatles in the studio?” Jeff asked. “They spent 90% of their time horsing around, but the other 10% were golden.”
“I’m not sure the administration wants our classrooms to look like a Beatles recording studio.”
“Maybe not. They see only one way to get to where you’re going, and god help you if you deviate from that path. That’s the way most people think. Take the time I ate that ham for breakfast that I’d left out overnight. By the reaction of the staff in the emergency room, you’d have thought I’d done the dumbest thing possible, but ham is half salt and I had every right to expect it would be safe to eat the next day, but that wasn’t the consensus among the hospital staff. They’re thinking was typical of the one-way-only approach.”
“I’m not sure I see the connection between your classroom and the way the hospital staff handled your food poisoning”
“Life is a two-way street with multiple lanes going both ways, and if I want to eat room-temperatulre ham or take a nap after lunch that requires my students to be independent, that’s just another lane to learning. Do you remember the time I told you about when I woke up and couldn’t figure out why all I could see was blue stripes?”
“You had been out celebrating the night before, and when you returned to your cabin you mistook the mattress for the blanket and covered up with the one instead of the other. “
“The lesson there is that I wasn’t wrong to cover up with the mattress, I was just in a different lane where covering up was concerned”
“It’s more interesting that way, I suppose. like most of the things that happen to you.”
“Thank you,” Jeff said, “I think.”