1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato….smack me in the face now please!!

sitting in the shadow

~sitting in the shadow’s of life.

One of the coffee houses I frequent happens to be a hangout for quite a few local school teachers and professors.

Some evenings while I’m there sipping a dark roast I feel like I’ve been squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder into the faculty lounge….and no Virginia; I’m not the type of student that should be in the faculty lounge!

My family thinks I live in coffee houses!

My family thinks I live in coffee houses! – Photo by Kenneth Justice

On one particular occasion a while back I was drawn into a conversation with an early 30-something middle school math teacher. I don’t want to bash her in my post, but she’s the type of teacher that knows it all (okay so I just bashed her; sorry!).

Me having an inquisitive nature about myself (d**n my nature! it gets me into trouble!) started asking her about her teaching philosophy to which she smiled really big and said. “I’ve developed a strategy that is really effective; I never look at the students”.

Uh…what?

She caught me off guard as I’ve never heard such nonsense before.

“You never look at your students?”

“Well, of course I smile at them when they are seating themselves, but no, once I begin my lecture I always face the dry-erase board and present the lesson for the day”.

Apparently, this young woman is convinced that the most effective method of teaching her students is to convey no sense of personality or warmth to her students whatsoever. She see’s herself as nothing more than a robotic lecturer, placed in the classroom to teach algebraic equations.

I really wanted to ask her some serious questions about her style but I had seen her around the cafe enough to know that if I pursued the subject it would be like talking to a brick wall.

I really wanted to ask her some serious questions about her style but I had seen her around the cafe enough to know that if I pursued the subject it would be like talking to a brick wall.

I really wanted to ask her some serious questions about her style but I had seen her around the cafe enough to know that if I pursued the subject it would be like talking to a brick wall.

Math is my worst subject.

In college I graduated with a 3.93 and guess what were the only two classes I didn’t get A’s in; Algebra 2 & Statistics!

Had this young woman been my college math prof I would have flunked out of both classes.

Please don’t think I’m throwing all teachers under the bus in this post.

I’m only suggesting that the ones who think they know-it-all; are really annoying!

Maybe some kids like the emotionless teacher. Maybe they learn better if the teacher acts like they don’t give a s**t about the student.

I am not one of those students.

I thrive in conditions of warmth; in settings where I’m surrounded by people who care.

This young woman represented more than just the teaching profession,

she reminded me of;

1) bosses who do things their way and refuse to hear criticism.

2) managers who are control freaks and over-manage their employees.

3) over-bearing parents who refuse to give their children a more relaxed environment.

4) friends and relatives who never progress, who always stay at the same place in their life because they are stubborn.

We live in a world of know-it-all’s.

It gets really old.

They won’t listen because they know-it-all.

And quite often I feel like I did when sitting with that teacher, I want to demonstrate my math skills;

“1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, smack me in the face now please!”

I think I’ll go get another cup of coffee.

Kenneth

~~~are there people in your life who are stubborn? bosses who don’t listen? managers who drive you nuts? co-workers or family who know-it-all?

 

 

 



Categories: Culture & Society, Really???

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 replies

  1. Now considering my age, and the age I was then, she would have to be at least 65 or so so you couldn’t possibly be talking about Miss Massey, but it sure does sound like her. 🙂 She was a math teacher as well. I always wondered what made her the way she was.

  2. Oh honey. You don’t know stubborn until you cross paths with my 27 year old sister. Holy crap, she is the most stubborn person I have ever met. In fact- she recently argued with my grandmother about how she met my grandfather. She is adamant that my Nuna is telling the story wrong.

  3. When I was a teen, someone told me that I really looked people in the eyes and that it was a rare quality. I never forgot that.

  4. i concur….wish more people did that.

  5. Great post! My wife has retired now but her last job in management at a large local hospital put her in the path of a boss who would have zero to do with suggestions from employees, and did everything possible to make them miserable – I am not joking. Now, that same woman has one foot out the door at the behest of certain upper management and a few employees who’ve simply had it with her garbage. Great subject to post on!!

  6. That’s a mystifying method, (if one could call it a method). We are already suffering culturally from an increasing lack of genuine, human interaction, and a teacher wants to not make eye contact with her class? A TEACHER? Hmmmm . . . it is all starting to make sense, now.

  7. “~~~are there people in your life who are stubborn? bosses who don’t listen? managers who drive you nuts? co-workers or family who know-it-all?”

    All of the above….family, bosses, co-workers (I have no friends so can’t compare that) but yes, to all of this.

  8. I deal with stubborn people quite often. I’m a self-employed hairstylist. I don’t have a boss or manager to deal with, thank goodness, but I have in the past. A few of my customers are very stubborn and resistant to change. They come to me for my expertise, and totally disregard it, and then complain about the way they look. They make me crazy. 😊

    As for the teacher you were talking about, I’m sad to know that she is teaching in that manner. I’d hate for my son to have to endure that “method” of teaching. My favorite teachers were warm and approachable. They instilled a love of learning that still resonates.

    • The young woman that cuts my hair is in many ways a counselor; she gets so many people from all sorts of walks of life, so many different conversations etc. When I was working at the drug rehab clinic as a counselor I told her she should go back to school for psychology as she’d probably be a better counselor than half the therapists at the clinic I was at!

  9. What can I say? I talk to brick walls, usually it’s all ok

  10. I’ve known a few people like that. Very frustrating. 😦 The worst ones have moved away to other states, though.

  11. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks!

  12. Oh, Kenneth, how I wish you’d asked her how, precisely, her strategy was effective….Bizarre. Had a lot of teachers but never one like that. What in the world taught her that manner?

    • Lucie,

      although some people might scoff at this; I’m not really a very contentious person so if I feel like something is going to lead to an argument that I don’t feel like having….I change the subject 🙂

  13. Well said. I guess she might be having other reasons to do this, without trying to justify her “lecturing” method. Sometimes children can be tough and building a wall can keep a teacher safe and sane. But of course school is not there to shove knowledge into children’s brain. It is there to make them human and provide knowledge and how to use it for the benefit of society. That said education begins at home, at the basic level of children behaving and trying to bring the best out of teachers. Unfortunately, the competitive nature in schools has turn this into a huge concentration camp for kids, until their parents are back from work.

%d bloggers like this: