Quick Hit


One of my students is the child of my boss, who took me aside this afternoon with a glint in her eye.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I just have to tell you,” she said, “Amanda was up in her room last night, completely losing her shit.”

“Oh, dear,” I said.  “What was wrong?”

“That’s the thing,” she replied, “I don’t know.  When I went up there to ask what the problem was, she looked me full in the face, threw her hands in the air, and said “YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER!’  Not “MY English teacher,” but YOURS, as in “it’s all YOUR fault because you HIRED this crazy woman!”

We both had a pretty good chuckle at that.  Amanda is an exceedingly bright girl.  She’s always willing to talk in class, but she has an almost crippling fear of writing.

I know EXACTLY why Amanda was mad at me last night; I was asking her to write – to tell a story about how reading has influenced her development as a person – and the act was terrifying to her.  I’m not sorry, though; one of my goals for this year is to get her over this baseless fear she has and show her that she CAN write.  I’m even betting, once she slays whatever demons she’s battling over this, she’s going to be a spectacular writer, at that.

Still, I think it’s kind of funny that she’s blaming her mother’s hiring decisions for her stress in English class…



Filed under funniness, I love my boss, I love my job, parental units, Teaching, the good ones, writing

5 responses to “Quick Hit

  1. She needs to get over it, I agree, but I think baseless might be a little unfair. I always think of Aaron Sorkin at times like this. He said, “I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, “You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy, I’m a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?” and I really, really don’t. I’ll go peaceable-like.”

  2. I feel for poor Amanda. I must say, the most terrifying moment in my high-school senior year was when my honors English teacher cornered me and told me that I had to help edit the annual literary magazine AND I had to write something to be published in it.

    While I was in the first meeting, the science teacher came by, pointed at me, and called me traitor.

    All my teachers were in on the ambush. Seriously, they all thought I should participate in it to show me I can do it (and to have SOMETHING other than math and science related on my college apps!).

    Amanda can do it. She’ll be fine.

  3. Ok, Kizz – baseless might be a LITTLE unfair, but I’m not going to let her hide behind her fear and continue to convince herself that she can’t do it. She’s brilliant. If she can THINK (and she CAN), she can WRITE. My job is to get her to see that.

    Seester, I promise not to ambush her, but neither am I going to enable her reticence. In fact, I’m hoping that at some point, this kid is going to have a Helen Keller moment and recognize just how many doors a facility with writing will open…

  4. Pingback: Quick Hit, Continued « A Teacher’s Education

  5. I guess what I was getting at is that it’s a very real fear, a fear shared by a lot of people who write well, REALLY well, so dismissing or belittling it might backfire as she’ll be able to get evidence of its magnitude and validity pretty easily if she wants. Fortunately for you most of the examples she’ll be able to find will be from people who continued to write anyway and got a lot out of it.

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