Monday, May 5, 2008
The best-paid teacher in the land
In January, I told my students about a zany plan of mine: to buy a life-size cardboard cut-out of myself. (I like for them to worry that I'm crazy.) I told them how it would simplify my life to have the cardboard Mrs. G monitor the hall while I was catching up with a student who'd been out sick, or to have cardboard Mrs. G stand sentry over sleepyheads while we read Shakespeare. I mused aloud about how fun it would be to put different outfits, and even faces on a giant paper-doll me. Then I added my hidden nanny-cam plot for glowing red eyes on the artificial me, so I'd never need to worry about what was going on when a sub was in my place.
They laughed in ways that ranged from polite to disturbed to rollicking, and we moved on to the finer points of MLA citations. Another scheme of mine forgotten (like the one where I come to school in disguise and insist I'm a substitute). Or not.
Today, my club--the Literary Guild-- surprised me with a year-end gift. They plotted for months and even involved yearbook photographers so that they could make my dream a reality. Today, the club president called an "emergency" meeting so that they could grant my wish. I was near tears. It may be the best gift I've ever received.
I spent the afternoon strolling through the school, arm around my other self, making teachers, students, administrators, custodians envious. Everyone wishes they'd thought of my idea...and had a group of students like my after-school crew. If every day were like today, there would never be a teacher shortage.