Monday, September 17, 2012

Rachel Rants About Teachers

So I'm supposed to be doing homework or reading or reviewing, but since I feel like procrastinating all those things, I decided to write a random blog post instead. (But really, expect some new reviews soon. I'm working on it. :D) I'm not sure why this is on my mind, but whatever. Here's a story:

I've had some really bad teachers over the years. I've had some really good ones, too, but there were a lot more bad ones than good ones, unfortunately.

Since I've gone to school with Megan since second grade, we've had a lot of the same teachers. Including the following teacher. I won't name names, just in case I become famous or something one day and he finds this and feels sad or whatever. But this guy was kind of a terrible teacher.

He was my Language Arts (why can't they just call it English? Is Language Arts supposed to be fancier or something?) teacher for one year of middle school. And I hated him. So did Megan, but I'll leave her out of this story. :D

One of the things that bugged me most about this guy was his feelings toward poetry. In his class, he assigned poetry assignments, and he told us that all poetry had to rhyme.

I'm sorry, what? WHAT? There are different types of poetry. Some rhyme, some don't.

When someone in my class said this to him, he replied that while poetry that didn't rhyme did exist, he didn't like it and so we weren't allowed to write non-rhyming poetry in his class.

Again I say, WHAT? Dude. You are teaching middle schoolers. You have to allow creativity. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you have the right to give us bad grades if our poems don't rhyme. (He really did take points off our grade if we didn't have a specific rhyming pattern.)

That is bullshit. Just, no. No. YOU CAN'T DO THAT.

And then there was the Romeo and Juliet incident. The class breezed through the book in a few weeks, just reading it and not stopping to discuss it or clarify things or make sure everyone understood what was going on. But, you know, whatever. I was doing fine, reading the book at home on my own and trying to keep up with Ye Olde Shakespeare Talk and Stuff. It wasn't until we were about two thirds of the way through the book that I got really pissed.

What happened was he looked up one day and realized "Oh look, the whole grade is supposed to take a test on the book in two days. Whoops, we're super behind. Better get caught up immediately."

And then he instructed the class to begin skimming the rest of the book. Seriously, he was just like "okay let's skip the next five pages because they're not really important." NO. STOP. YOU CAN'T DO THAT.

Listen, from what I've read of Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet: didn't like, A Midsummer Night's Dream: kind of hated, Julius Caeser: actually enjoyed) I'm not a big fan of him. I just don't get him. I mean, I haven't read much of his stuff, so I can't totally judge yet. But English teachers (at least the ones I've had) are always like SHAKESPEARE IS THE BEST PERSON TO EVER WALK THIS EARTH HE IS AMAZING AND EVERYONE SHOULD LOVE HIS PLAYS AND POEMS BECAUSE HE IS A SUPER TALENTED WRITER blah blah blah.

So the idea of SKIMMING SHAKESPEARE just seemed ridiculous to me. Just...move the test date back. Or I don't know, maybe make sure we finish the book on time so we don't have to scramble at the last minute? Don't just start skipping pages of the book you're assigning. No. That shouldn't happen.

And then there was the general HE IS SO FREAKING STUBBORN thing. He always had to be right. ALWAYS. Like if he'd give us an assignment that we'd already done in the beginning of the year, and we'd have fifteen kids telling him we'd already done it, showing him the completed worksheet in our notebooks as proof, he'd make us do it again anyway because he didn't remember it. He couldn't just accept the fact that maybe his class of straight A students destined for Honors courses was a little bit smarter than him in this one instance.

Ugh. I could go on forever about this man. I really could. But I'll stop now. I just wanted to rant to someone. Have you ever had a really bad teacher? Feel free to rant about him/her in the comments. Or if you've had a really GOOD teacher, leave a story below. Maybe it will cheer me up.

(I should add that so far this school year, I actually seem to have a few good teachers. Including my Creative Writing teacher, who is really awesome so far. I knew I'd love her as soon as I saw the Albus Dumbledore quote on her syllabus.)



  1. Oh my god you need a talk show and I need to be on it. Now.

  2. Ok, bummer about the poetry thing. I got nothing for you there. The only thing I will defend: actually, some bits of Shakespeare are pretty skimmable. Most directors, when they start working on Shakespeare, the first thing they do is they cut. Like, imagine that some teen movie that comes out this year is all INSTANT CLASSIC OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE but it has a long scene where the characters, like, make jokes about their Tumblr pages or something (sorry, that's terrible. I don't know--maybe they talk about Kate Middleton or fangirl RPatz or something. Whatever.) In ten years (let alone 400 years) probably that scene won't be great and people will take that opportunity to get some more soda and take a Cosmo quiz or something. But the love story itself? Still amazing. Shakespeare wanted to seem timely and cool, so he put in all these songs and long scenes of jokes that nobody born after 1700 would get. So usually, those get skipped.

    That said, skimming because the test is coming up doesn't inspire a ton of confidence. Sorry for Shakespeare!Nerding all over your blog and all. Glad you're feeling better about this year's teachers!

    1. Now I'm picturing Juliet fangirling over RPatz on Tumblr. Hahahaaha.

      I mean, if my teacher had said that we were skipping stuff because it wasn't important and not because we were running out of time, then cool, that's great. But he was more like "Shakespeare is super important but oops, no time left UH JUST HURRY UP AND FINISH THE PLAY'S REALLY NOT THAT SPECIAL ANYWAY". *sighs* I'm very glad to be rid of him.

      Also, can you please be my English teacher? :D haha