The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Thanks, and a...Test?

         The other night I was part of a very large birthday celebration at a local Mongolian grill restaurant.  I had just fulfilled a bet with my husband for $20 (I ate a plate of with their hottest sauce; I finished it, but did drink a huge glass of water as I ate it.  In the past I've also smoked a cigarette, while my witnesses watched me turn green, and I've eaten a pickle without the help of gravy.  From my perspective, both the cigarette and the pickle are equally deadly and disgusting.)

       Okay, I digress...

       Heidi, one of the young women there, is an interpreter for the deaf.  Seated across the narrow table from me, and knowing I am a teacher, she asked, "Who is your most unfavorite student?"

        I sat there and started mentally going through my class of 25.  Who would that be?  I thought of Teflon-Boy, a student quite talented at making sure no homework ever stuck to him.  Now, however, he was getting a bit more serious about school, he accepted when I stapled his homework to his forehead every afternoon, and he had won me over with his smile...

        How about Miss Moody?  She regularly snarls at her peers, the nasty looks she give me when she thinks I'm not looking, she's a challenge. But when I met her mother, I knew why MM is the way she is.

      I thought of a few more students, trying to form an answer, and finally said, "Well, there is a student in our class who hates being made fun of, and yet he daily says the most cruel things about his peers.  He's super bright, and one-on-one, has an incredible amount of empathy and is quite self-aware.  He's made some improvements so far, but is still very resistant. He's not a student I dislike, but he's my biggest challenge right now..."

      She smiled at me, and then immediately asked, "Who is your favorite student?"

      Whew, another hard one.  I have a bunch of students who work really hard every day in spite of academic struggles, they have their loveable little quirks...Who would I name as my favorite?

       "If you asked me that question last year, I would probably say ___ because this student began the school year reading way below grade level, but she never gave up, and although she had this 'tough' exterior, when she saw that I really cared, we formed a great relationship.  Now she comes and says hi every morning and every afternoon, and we tease each other, and I really admire her perserverance..."

      Heidi smiled.  I guess when I could not come up with a name instantly for each of her questions, I had passed her "test."

     I guess I wonder how you can spend all day--5 days a week--with kids, and look at them in such black and white terms?  Like.  Like.  Like.  Don't like.  Like.  It's impossible.

      Here's a few more thanks to folks who follow my blog. Some of them might have just checked in once, and are now bored, but I'm extending a thank you nonetheless...

photo by little_bulldog_design

Pat Wahler at  She is an animal lover, a writer (and rewrote the "Night Before Christmas" in a way-clever version) and has a dog named Indy and a cat named Bogey.

Lisa Ricard Claro at  Lisa is a gifted writer, can be serious or wry, and even has links for writers.

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares at  OJ is a writer and a traveler.  She can take you to another country via her words, and you can smell the aromas and see the sights and feel the pulsating music.

Clara Gillow Clark at  She writes historical fiction.

Janel Gradowski at  Janel is one of those people that make you envious.  She bakes.  She writes.  She makes jewelery.  (You can even buy her necklace and bracelet patterns!)

Karen Lange at  Karen is not only a writer, she's also an online writing teacher.

and Tammy at  Tammy has lots of publishing credits under her belt, and she is a substitute teacher along with her freelance writing.   Her sense of humor will slay you...

I hope that 2011 is a great one for all of us...Thanks for making comments, for reading my blog, for checking in once in a while...



  1. Siuox, I tell parents that each child is my favorite, on different days. They all have things that make them special.
    Even if it's being a pain. (I don't say that part).

  2. Hi, Sioux. I am one of those "lurkers" I guess--I try to take time to stop in at each of my favorite bloggers once a week or so but don't always comment if I'm short on time (who isn't it?). I have you bookmarked because I love your posts about teaching, like this one. I taught elementary and middle for several years (now college), and I write a weekly "teacher-feature" for Anyway, thanks for sharing. Hope you had a great holiday.

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words! Am so glad I discovered your blog LAST year (through Becky, I think)! And I loved your answers...clearly spoken from a real teacher.

  4. LInda---I so agree that "special" needs to be italicized sometimes.

    Diana--Thanks for stopping by. Yours is a blog I check out as well. I guess I should take the plunge and follow you officially. I will also take a look at I spent most of the holiday break in PJs (or something suspiciously similar) and reading and knitting and vegging out.

    Tammy--Yes, it was LAST year. We had lunch with Donna and Becky and Lou and Bea LAST year. Let's keep telling ourselves that until the number 2011 gets cemented in our brains.

  5. Happy new year, Sioux. I'm glad you didn't try to name favorites (or least favorites) from your class of students. Kids undoubtedly pick up on that stuff.

  6. Hi Sioux....Please go to the comment section on Dec. 29th. I put directions on there how to change either or both your PAGE TEXT color or the MAIN BACKGROUND color. Hope it helps.

  7. Holy cow! I thought I commented on this post and Blogger ate it. Bad Blogger. :(

    Thanks for the shout-out. I really appreciate it.



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