GoodGrandma℠ would like to give a big shout out to all of our educators! Our teachers are wrapping up another year of teaching. However, the past few months and the completion of the school year has been different than ever before.
In the spirit of deep humility for which I am known (not), I felt as a high school student that I was smarter than most of my teachers and could fool most of them. There were four exceptions: Mrs. Kaufman, Mr. Drollinger, Mr. Bird, and Mr. Barton. These four I had to watch out for. I could not pull anything over on them.
Some students did not like Mrs. Kaufman, our senior class English teacher, because she was strict. Some of the students called her rude names. My nature was such that I did not use rude names for people, especially authority figures like teachers. But Mrs. Kaufman certainly was strict and a little scary. Early in my junior year, we had the assignment to read a novel and write a report on it. As I always had done in the past, I did NOT read the novel, but I did write a report on it. Mrs. Kaufman called me into her office. I thought she probably wanted to tell me what a great job I had done. That was not it. She started quizzing me orally on the novel. Eventually, she said, “You didn’t read it, did you, Rick?” I know when I’m had, so I admitted that I had not. She said, “Go read it and come back and see me when you’re done.”
Actually, this was kind of a relief to me. Finally, a teacher I could not fool. Over the rest of the year, Mrs. Kaufman became my favorite teacher, as I learned that she was strict not because she was mean but because she cared. Even though I loved her, she was still a little scary. She called me “Rick” the entire year, and I never had the nerve to correct her (I was Richard or Rich, not Rick). In other classes, I goofed around and made snide, sarcastic jokes about whatever was said. But in her class, I was a model student.
Mrs. Kaufman changed my life. She made me toe the line. She made me do the work. I ended up loving English and majoring in it in college—thanks to Mr. Kaufman.
I want to let teachers know, you do matter and you do make a difference. It’s been an interesting time with online education. It’s not been easy or desirable, but you did it! Thank you!
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