Monday, March 7, 2011

High School English Teachers....

What is it about High School English teachers? Are they all just alike? Did something happen to them as teenagers that caused them to want to devote their lives to getting back at as many other teenagers as possible?

Am I being a bit harsh? Maybe....but Emily is in High School now and Honors English is just as I remember it. Hard!! The books like The Oddessy, Animal Farm, To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men....they are still required...and they are still just as hard to understand as they were in 1988.
And the teachers still expect these students to read the books and understand very complicated themes and symbolism's and difficult to understand that there have been many other books written trying to explain them.

The last book that Emily completed was Whirligig. I had not read it, but tried to skim through it to help her with a project that the teacher had assigned. She also had a test on the book the day that the project was due. When I ask her if the teacher had talked through the book with the class, she said "No" if she thought that was an okay answer. She was sure she "bombed" the test.
I had thought for a moment about ordering a study guide online to help her prepare, but when I saw that the study guide alone was over 200 pages....73 pages for the condensed version...I knew it was too much to tackle when we still had a project to finish. I did say WE....'cause she also had a Science test to study for.

I am sure that Emily's English teacher is a decent human being....but, I can't help but heap my feelings about my old English teachers onto her (I think there is a literary term for this.)

The good news....
It is an honors as Em would say...a "B" counts as an "A".
And...I already have in hand the study guide for "To Kill a Mockingbird".
And even better...I haven't heard her talk about diagramming any sentences...yet!

Being 'back in High School English' is not my idea of fun.
And...this is the book I'm reading now.
 I am loving it!


  1. You're reading right along with her? How fun! I LOVE that book too (and the movie).

  2. Hey.
    I don't want to admit to the years I spent as an AP English teacher....because of my typos......

    The good news is TKAM is a great book and pretty clear cut as well!

  3. I love To Kill a Mockingbird! Great book, so were all the rest of the books you listed, but then again I was an English geek. :) My favorite was reading Shakespeare in 10th grade. :)

  4. i hang on every word you write about emily, trying to peek into my future with my middle schooler once she gets to hs ... and since we're already struggling with the workload in 6th grade english, I'm sure this'll be us in 3 years - *gulp*

  5. My hubby is a high school principal and he and I say the same thing. It's like the english teachers are purely evil. I mean surely there are some better works out there for kids to read nowadays. AND they complain the most about having to grade "so many papers" well, my feelings are, don't assign so many stinkin' papers! There are so many other ways for kids to express their knowledge of what they have read. OK, so I am getting all soap boxy but anyway, good luck to Emily. I do however have to admit that I do/did enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird.

  6. I just posted about Ben's AP English teacher. She's awesome. And I know she's one of a kind. Sorry. Wish we could share her.

  7. Glad you and Emily are enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a great book!

  8. Fantastic book! I am actually looking forward to books like that except I have never heard of the book she read and did a project on. I hated my English lit. teacher and I think she hated all of us. She was this amazon of a woman that wasn't all the attractive and not married so I think took out her depressing life on us! At least schools getting closer to the end right?

    The GW guy is fine. In fact I decided to go during the day a few times just because that is what worked out for me. I also happened to go in on Saturday while my daughter was at a birthday party. He was actually working but it was so busy he didn't notice me, whew! So now I know he works three days a week. I am just going to be sure I wear my hat each time I go in there!

  9. I love that book. When I did English 'O' level, we studied To Kill a Mockingbird' and I devoured it. It was my best book by miles. Six weeks before the exam, our teacher discovered that she had mis-read the syllabus and we wouldn't be tested on it that year, We switched to 'Arms and the Man' by George Bernard Shaw. I hated it!!

  10. Yes, I have gone back to 4th grade, 9th grade, 6th grade and occasionally 2nd grade recently.
    There isn't much about my Emily's school work that I can help her with because she is so far beyond me that I would not do her any good. I hate to say it, but I could help her with English, but that's it. She is above and beyond me in math, even when I was in college.
    That old saying, "You lose it if you don't use it" is very true. I can only do about 4th grade math now.
    I hate that!

  11. You would FLIP if you had to deal with the honors english teacher in our high school. AGH! All three of my sons had him for a teacher and it was a nightmare all three times! NIGHTMARE!
    I agree with you 100 percent!
    Have a pretty day!

  12. A classic quote from our English teacher. . .and because we are such a small school, the boys will have her at least twice if not three times over the next few years. . ."I'm getting them to think like I do". . .seriously, I don't want them to think like you!

  13. In the same boat here. My 10th grader can't stand his english teacher. And he loves english. uugh. It's been a while since I read Mockingbird..I might need to re-read. :)