what should a teacher do when a colleague undermines one’s hard work? i understand this happens more often than not; however, it doesn’t usually happen to  me because i keep to myself. i’ve become very good at staying away from the teacher’s lounge, cafeteria (when i don’t have duty, of course), and hallway gossip sessions (as much as possible!). what i’m trying to say is i stay away from back-biting and gossip; not that i don’t hear it, but i just choose not to spread it.

so imagine my surprise when i found out from a student today that another teacher told her today that she should not be reading the book she has (the lake house by james patterson) because it is “not literary enough” –yes, a TEACHER said this. and my favorite part? the person is an ENGLISH TEACHER!!!

now, maybe the student misunderstood the teacher, and maybe protected sex means getting a burglar alarm (sorry glee writers!)…i am almost positive that this statement was directed at our conversation last week when we argued about appropriate literature in high school. in this teacher’s mind, all reading should be “classics” while in my mind, students need to explore texts that help them learn something ab0ut themselves. i have had so much more success this year than in the last 3 because i have turned more toward self-selection and short texts. i like to think i meet the students where they are developmentally, and try to  move them along as much as possible.

i feel sorry for my students who may have this teacher next year–they will lose something by not being pushed to choose their texts. but i also feel sorry for the teacher who will NEVER hear 3 classes a day yell for 30 more minutes to read!! to me, this is the greatest achievement of my career.

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