I can’t wait to be a teacher.

For reals.  It’s gonna be so great.  I know there are a lot of post about what everyone’s nervous about and all that jazz… but I’m friggen excited to teach High School.  Even for the non-exciting things like grading and stuff.

I love grading.  It’s like a little adventure; you never know what a student is going to write, you get to see students improve from paper to paper, and I’m obsessed with making sure people use a proper construct of grammar.  Sure, I expect to get exasperated and even frustrated at times — but think of the alternative: there’s NO HOMEWORK!!  Teachers only have homework that they give themselves.  And trust me, I won’t be fooling around with any worksheet shenanigans or anything.  I don’t care about that nonsense.  My students will have freewrites (which will be completion grades and might only get read every once in a while), papers, projects, and tests.  I plan to keep out of the classroom stuff to a minimum.  And lesson planning?  Ha.  Once you’ve done it for a few years, as long as you’re in the same class, it’s going to be basically the same.  I plan on putting in a herculean amount of effort my first couple years and then tweaking this and that as I go from then on.  It’s gonna be great.

The only other things I really have to worry about are school/district expectations/involvement stuffs.  Staff meetings and paperwork and all that jazz.  I mean… I don’t really know how that all works (and I expect it’s different wherever you go), but I bet I can make some good relationships with the administration so that they can give me some help and foresight with all that stuff that I’m not interested in.  It’s like cleaning the toilet; I assume I’ll probably not want to do it, but once it’s done I’ll feel a lot better.  So I’m choosing now to not fixate on bureaucratic messes and to expect it to be generally unpleasant.  This way, when it is just that, I’ll be expecting that and I’ll be able to get it over with easily and I’ll be able to move on and get back to my kids.  It’s gonna be great.

I mean, c’mon; I’m gonna have my own classroom.  A whole room to myself!  I’m gonna get posters and plants and maybe even a class pet.  I’m thinking a Red Panda.  But maybe like a fish or bird or something… We’ll see.  But it’s gonna be great.  I’ll have art and movie posters and words and classy clocks and, oh goodness, it’ll be awesome.  I’ll have plants to make the room feel nice and book shelves everywhere.  Books; lots of books.  And a couch.  I plan on going to arc the day I’m hired and finding the perfect couch to use as my front row.  Who wants to sit in the front of the class?  Friggen everyone will if I have a couch and little lap desk things.  And I’m going to have a hot water maker thing and hot chocolate packets and tea and apple cider and all that god stuff.  Why?  Because you gotsta stay hydrated, especially in Colorado.  And you gotsta wake up in the morning.  Now am I gonna pay for this?  Nope.  Bring a dollar in and get a “late pass” for homework (capped at like…3 or something).  Or if you use profanity in my classroom: that’ll cost you a quarter.  That or a lunch detention, if I can’t get away with that.  But if my teachers could bribe me with extra-credit to bring in tissue boxes during flu season, then I can get some cocoa somehow.  And I’ll have some crap-tastic speakers set up that play a decent quality of music that I can obnoxiously blare at my kids during a test if they upset me.  Or to, you know relate music to poetry… In any case, it’s gonna be so great.

And I’m going to have so many fun times.  Like syllabus week; where I pass out the syllabus and lure my kids into a false sense of laxity with cheesy ice-breakers and baked goods (after checking for food allergies, of course), and then bust their posteriors for the rest of the semester.  Or Halloween when I force myself to get an actual costume and be festive and give out candy and stuff.  Or Christmas when I surprise everyone and cancel a test and have a food day instead, and give extra credit for students to go volunteer and share some Christmas cheer ringing bells for the Salvation Army or carol to old folks or feed the homeless.  Or Valentines day when I force everyone to write awkward love poems to each other — and then read them aloud to the class.  Or Harry Potter Day!  I dunno when this is; but I’ll make sure we have one.  Class parties are gonna be great.  Like in Elementary School… but so much more awkward and fun.  I’ll have movie days and play days and song days.  We’ll produce scenes from Shakespeare; we’ll learn to wobble (or whatever those wippersnappers will be doing with their dancing tomfoolery) and to swing; we’ll explicate poetry outloud and get deep with those rascally metaphysicals; we’ll discuss and debate and lecture and grumble and laugh and cry and, oh my, we’ll have a darn good time.  It’s gonna be great.

Let’s be honest, English is such a friggen awesome thing to teach.  There are so many great concept and skills that I’ll get to teach.  We’ll read and write and analyze and explicate and speak and preform and present and compose and discover and uncover and construct and, indeed, communicate.  There’s no other discipline I would rather teach (though I plan on endorsing in Social Studies too…) because English is just so great.  And, let me tell you; is gon be grate.


3 thoughts on “I can’t wait to be a teacher.

  1. tealanaronn says:

    Matt, if you are going to have a couch as your front row and hot water in your classroom, I am going back to high school and requesting to be in your English class. I want to write awkward love poems and read them out loud. That seems fun!

    Anyway, your ideas ‘are gonna be great’ in a classroom. You seem to keep it real and already know how your first years of teaching are going to go. (Nice toliet analogy). You make it all seem so simple? Is it really going to be that way? That isn’t a demeaning question; I was just thinking it sounded too easy, almost. But it makes sense. When you talked about lesson plans-you’re right. If we work super hard our first few years will it just be a breeze the rest of our lives?!


  2. kreidern says:

    Somedays I have the same thought process as you. The possibilities…are endless. And my classroom is just gonna be bomb and awesome–like yours! Hot cocoa is a great idea. And a couch–awesome. Best part about it all? We freaking get PAID to do this stuff!

  3. mattcleland says:

    Haha. Thanks! I really do think it’s this exciting and I think it’s a great deal for us.

    And yes! I do think it’ll be that easy. I mean, sure there will be times when I want to beat a student for not getting their work in or for turning in garbage. And there will be times when I’ll want to throw things at administrators or legislators for imposing some bureaucratic shenanigans at me. Bur I think if we constantly live in and for those moments when w connect with our students, when we immerse ourselves in our content, when we revel in our classrooms — those are the moments that will come to dominate our experience and our memories.

    I doubt it’ll be ponies and teddy bears every day. And I bet I’ll have to stay up late a few times to get stuff done. But, on the whole, I think we’re getting ourselves into a good business. We just have to remember to make it that.

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