Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Great Practice Teaching Memory!

The word "eye" must be in here for Mona's word for the day!

Looking For Mr. Craig

All the way to the high school, on my first day of student practice teaching, I tried to envision my associate teacher and the inevitable meeting that would soon follow. I only knew from his phone call on Friday that he was Mr. James Craig, who spoke quickly, precisely and with a faint trace of an English accent. He was also the Head of the English Department. I would most certainly have to be on my toes throughout this two-week assignment!

Upon my arrival at the school office, naturally, no one knew of Mr. Craig’s whereabouts. I was then directed to the staff room where I could settle my edgy nerves with a strong cup of coffee, after I had donated my fifty cents to the beloved coffee club, of course! They sent all of us there when they really didn’t want us hanging around, biting our nails.

So I shakily grabbed a cup of java and set out to roam the halls in search of the one that was to be my inspiration to teach high school English.
Every male staff member I passed in the hall looked like a possible candidate for my Mr. Craig.

A tall, lean, handsome man strode out of a doorway and down the hall in front of me. My eyes were fixed on his broad shoulders and my heart leaped. How could I concentrate on Grade Eleven lessons on Wordsworth with such an attractive man watching my every move?
I relaxed as he turned in a door marked, "Mr. Martin: Geography".

Then, I noticed a big, burly, bearded man walking towards me and I imagined him reading volumes of Shakespeare while smoking a pipe. In a gruff voice he grunted some form of greeting and I felt sure that this was my destined mentor. I stammered an awkward, "Good Morning" and was relieved to see him enter the Science Lab.

Around the corner, I encountered a man of medium stature, shining eyes, and a very warm empathetic smile. His greeting was so friendly; I was happily convinced that this Mr. Craig indeed knew I was his charge for the next two weeks. But I was disappointed to see him headed towards the History and Politics wing.

Finally, I ended up back at the staff room and reluctantly went inside. My eyes swept the room, taking in the entire scene at once. People were chatting and laughing. Some were teasing others about sipping coffee without having paid into the fund jar. Someone commented offhandedly, that this was the cursed week those student teachers came. Another groaned in reply that she would likely have to re-teach all her lessons. No one acknowledged my presence whatsoever.

By this point, I was feeling so uncomfortable I gladly paid my money for another refill in my cup. With trembling hands, I fixed my coffee and pushed my way through the saloon-type doors of the kitchenette. Strangely, I felt some resistance from the other side. I immediately came face to face with an impeccably well-dressed man with short, dark hair and coffee all over his immaculate pinstriped suit. I gaped at him in horror!

Good morning, Mr. Craig!

Mother of Invention, glad that stage of my life is over!



Blogger Plantation said...

Hi. Thanks for visiting my blog. Always nice to have a new reader.

Take care,


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

You're welcome and thanks for the return visit!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Blogger Barbara said...

Isn't retirement great?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Blogger Pauline said...

Oh no MOI! You can't end it there - what did he do? And how did the two weeks go?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Anonymous Coll said...

I can not even imagine the terror one must have prior to standing up in front of a classroom of pupils for the first time... especially high school students. Now that takes courage. :-)
Loved this story and have nothing but the highest respect for the profession.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Blogger Diana said...

Ah! Brilliant!

Serves him right for bringing his impeccable and immaculate suit in to teach in. Had he been in one of those coffee-colored tweed jackets with the elbow patches, no one would have known he had coffee on him.

Oh well, nothing like getting the worst out of the way at the start, yes? No where to go but up.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Blogger Irrelephant said...

*lol* Excellent!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogger Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

What a wonderfully told story, MOI! Really enjoyed that!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogger Mother of Invention said...


Pauline: He actually was not too bad. Very understanding and he practically spoonfed me the 2 weeks so all I had to do was what he told me.

Coll: Thanks so much. Teachers love to hear this. I respect them too now that I am more or less out of the profession. I can't believe what all they do in a day, week, and year!

Diana: Thanks! Yes, he wasn't exactly "cool" but I did end up with an okay mark!

Irrelephant: Thanks! True story! Luckily I ended up teaching Gr. 3-6.

Absolute Vanilla: Thanks! It seems so long ago that it happened yet, I'll never forget that day!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogger Beverly said...

I remember being scared to death when I first student taught...and that was with first graders! I had a wonderful teacher to work with though.

Thank you for your comment. Someone else mentioned the rabbi's book. I must look for it as I haven't read it.

Your mass sing sounds good too. A couple of years ago I went for a day of singing with a large group. It was actually with two arrangers of church choir music. I loved it. We sang all day. By tghe end we were exhausted, but I loved it.

It was really neat to watch the arrangers with their "babies." When they talked about the songs, you could tell they loved what they did.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Blogger Lynn said...

Great piece. It describes those kind of days perfectly...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

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