I really do love teaching. When I am in the classroom interacting with the students, life is good.
Today’s writing prompt was:
There are many exciting people in the world. Tell about one.
I wrote the prompt on the board and then displayed a poster board with a non-example on it. I read the prompt, then I went to stand next to my student, Cindy, and read the poster:
My friend, Cynthia, is very exciting. She is in the fifth grade, has brown hair and brown eyes and is a good student. I like her a lot.
Finally I asked: “Would that be an acceptable paragraph?”
The class chorused, “No!”
So far, so good.
I asked, “Why not?”
Rick said, “It wasn’t long enough.”
Moses said, “No! No! Cynthia is not your friend, she is your student.”
The little voice in the back of my head said, Oh yeah, this is going well.
Then Jasmine raised her hand. “Your paragraph is boring,” she announced.
Finally, my little voice chanted, but I pretended shock. “Boring? What do you mean?”
Jasmine said, “The prompt wants to know something exciting about Cindy. You just listed a bunch of ordinary facts.”
“Oh!” I exclaimed, over-acting as usual. “So, what do I need to do to make the paper more exciting?”
Jon, who sits beside Cindy, looked over at her and drawled, “First, choose another person …”
The class laughed and Jasmine waved her arm frantically. “Choose me! Choose me!””
“Can’t,” I answered. “It says amazing person, not obnoxious person.”
Jasmine responded with her standard open-mouthed, wide-eyed — Who me? — head shake.
“You have a problem?” I asked her.
“You just called me obnoxious! You can’t do that!” Jasmine over-acts, too. We make a great team.
I responded with a question, “Weren’t you the kid that just came to my desk and asked me 473 questions in less than three minutes, while I was trying to read?”
Jasmine tried to hold her indignant pose, but cracked up laughing.
I nodded my head at her. “Yep. See. I win. Obnoxious.”
Jasmine turned to Pansy Petite. “Ms. A. always wins, but someday I’ll get her!”
Pansy nodded her head, “You just keep believing that,” she said. And then she rolled her eyes.