Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tales from The Teacher Guppies

I admit it. I produced Teacherguppies, some with me own genes, some who just happened to have the (mis)fortune of working with me.

Science Teacherguppy walked into a colleague's Inclusion class. The students were quietly engaged in a lesson. Not minding her own business, (a definitely inherited trait) Teacher Guppy walked up to the one little girl sitting with a closed notebook and asked her why her book wasn't opened. The sweet-faced girl, opened her book, licked the first page and said "That's why!" turned the page, licked the next page and repeated, "That's why," and continued through the book. Teacherguppy watched in amazement.

"You asked," the boy next to her explained
Teacherguppy went back to minding her own business.

The other genetically related Teacherguppy was assigned a second language learner, with behavioral as well as motor issues. Lunch hour was over on this glorious late summer day and the second graders lined up to return indoors. But not the Teacherguppie's student. She maneuvered her walker over to the jungle gym. "It's time to go back in the school now," Teacherguppy tried in two languages.

"Shhh," replied the student conspiratorially. Maybe if TeacherGuppy would just be quiet, no one notice a girl with a walker trying to climb the jungle gym in the after lunchtime abandoned play yard.

And then there are the moments I remember why I went into teaching. The ninth grade TeacherGuppy (related to me only by school assignment) taught a lesson today on writing a six word memoir. I told him it sounded like a great idea and he said, "yeah that's what you said two years ago when you gave me the lesson," and then he showed me the 6 word memoir I wrote back then:

Old teacher, new school year- again.

And the kids wrote incredible memoirs that I will try to copy down and post later. Even with a fire drill smack in the middle the angst of teenage years got summed up in six word phrases

A colleague drove me home, we chatted, we complained. We're still having and unsmooth start to the school. When the principal asked me why things were going badly, I was uncharacteristically struck silent. I didn't know what I could say. I told me friend

"You should have just opened your book and licked the pages," she suggested
"That's why"
"You asked."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Teacherfish,

    This is Alyssa from SMITH Magazine, the creators of the six-word memoir project. It's great to find another teacher using six-word memoirs to inspire students to write! SMITH recently developed new six-word memoir teaching guides for teachers to use. If you'd like a copy to look over, just email me at

    Alyssa, SMITH intern

    PS: I love seeing teachers who have taught for decades. You really sound like you've got a passion for teaching! Good luck with the new school year.