"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Gerald Peary's commentary on teachers:

School Teachers

It's another damned September, and I'm back in school, writhing and kicking like many of you, but on the other side of the desk. I'm a teacher, the one with the chalky crumpled sports jacket, the nostalgic-for-1967 haircut and jeans, and the by-rote explanation of my get-tough grading policy. Is there verity to the stereotype of teachers as geeky, grumpy, and oblivious to fashion, clinging to pre-computer era standards? Sure, I say, peeking in a mirror (though rarely) at my professor self.

And what about teaching because you can't do real work? Or because you are too eccentric to succeed among adults?

All the above are often true in my calling, and they've been true, and will stay so. Whenever Frederick Wiseman shows High School(1968), his wry documentary of student-faculty life at a Philadelphia public school, people come up to him and exclaim, "That's my high school! I had those weird teachers!" They've been saying that for 33 years.

JB here: I've always had this secret desire to leave my "chosen field" someday and try my hand at teaching high school. I suspect that people like myself who have a desire to teach high school are living in a dream world of schools being like those seen in "Goodbye Mr. Chips" or "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Ah, callow youth. Luckily or unluckily I have good memories of my high school years. I had some enjoyable teachers and I was the favorite of our spinster librarian, Miss Imogene Fokker - that is correct. I was always in the library during school day breaks either checking out or returning books. I was a huge reader back then and Miss Fokker was appreciative. She was a pleasant looking but dimunitive female who wore glasses and had a pageboy style haircut with nairy a hair ever out of place. It makes you wonder what her life was actually like.

But, "here's to you Miss Fokker." I hope life treated you well -- after all you treated me well. JB

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