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Thursday, August 22, 2013

it was probably the zipper boots

My sixth grade teacher didn't make much of an impression on me.  In fact, I had to really rack my brain to remember him at all.

I'm losin' it with Mama Kat again this Thursday and chose the prompt:  "1.) Your sixth grade teacher."  simply enough.  Who was it??

For one thing, by the time I was in sixth grade, we were moving around, having different teachers for different subjects.  So I tried to remember who my homeroom teacher was.  I could easily remember my fifth grade homeroom teacher, so why not my sixth?

Then slowly, the image hiding in some recess of my brain emerged.  Mr. Madrid.  He taught sixth grade math and was the start to my sixth grade days.

I formed a very non-opinion of Mr. Madrid.  His skin was dark, his black hair was mostly grey, his build was medium, his circles under his eyes were dark.   I remember that he wore zippered dress boots.  I've never been a fan of zippered dress boots.  No offense to zippered dress boot wearing men, they're just not my thing.

The rumor was, as sixth grade kids must form rumors about their teachers, that he was an alcoholic.  The dark circles under his eyes were clear evidence of it.

Looking back now, he was an okay teacher, just very unassuming and un-impression forming.  But I did learn some math from him, and math was probably my favorite subject in sixth grade.  He led us through our sixth grade math standards well enough, and I remember that he said "school" kind of funny.  It was more like "skewel".

He was nice, not stern.  Almost too nice, I'd say.  Whereas other male teachers had a more authoritative classroom presence, Mr. Madrid preferred to avoid confrontation.  I imagined him just wanting to get through the day's lesson so as to clock out and return to his bottle, if rumors were to be taken seriously.

On Monday, I begin fall semester classes - first steps toward my secondary math teaching license.   I have a calculus class, a "Step 1 field based Approaches to Teaching" (elementary school student teaching) and "Step 2 field based Approaches to Teaching" (middle school student teaching).

It seems like once I made the decision to "go get that dang license already!", and once I got accepted into the program, I've just been waiting waiting waiting to get going.  The program is specifically for licensing math and science teachers.  I chose math because (a) I had already met most of the prerequisites and (b) when I lurk the school job openings, math teachers are the most in demand.

If everything were equal, I would've chosen science, and my goal is to eventually get that license too.

Throughout this process, I've remembered teachers who've made positive impressions on me.  Some are teachers I had in school, some are teachers I've worked with.

Then there are the Mr. Madrids.  It's good to remember him too.  So that if a student of mine gets a future writing prompt about me, she's not all "who the hell was it?"
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Update:  As I strain to remember, I realized that Mr. Madrid was, in fact, my 7th grade homeroom teacher.  For the life of me, I have no recollection of the 6th grade void.
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19 comments:

  1. Teachers do come in all categories, don't they! I had a male homeroom teacher for sixth grade that was "down the middle", too. Not too authoritative. Not too soft, either. He was pleasant, but I don't remember him making an impact on my education at all. It was a year that "slipped through the cracks".

    Good luck on your adventures in teaching! I taught Jr. High for a few years and decided it wasn't for me! Maybe had I chosen a "core" major I would have liked it better.

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    1. Both fifth and sixth grades are cloudy to me, but I guess I must've passed.

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  2. When I think back to my teachers, I honestly had a majority of male teachers versus female. I loved all of them!!! Following you via Mama Kat! Hope you too can stop by! coloradoblessedmom.blogspot.com

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    1. Seems like I had a good mix of men and women for teachers. I have two favorites - one was a man, the other a woman. So many characteristics make for a good or bad one. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. You have a better memory than I. For the life of me, I cannot recall most of my teachers. Perhaps I am blocking the memories or it is all the wild times I had in school but I cannot recall the names of my teachers in the middle school years. High school yes, but I am drawing a blank on middle school. And I am sorry to admit that. Those people had a big impact upon my life (as I imagine you will have) and I should remember them. Given your drive and dedication, I know that you will have a big influence on many of them. The future of the country is in your hands...

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    1. I mostly just remember the early elementary teachers and the high school teachers. The middle years are gone. To the future!!

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  4. Gosh. I don't remember mine either! I remember my fourth, fifth and seventh grade teacher, but not my sixth. Heck, I don't remember sixth grade at all. Scary!
    It's so exciting to start a whole new career. After teaching and mommying for so many years, switching to the hotel biz has been very exciting and challenging for me. It still is in fact. So I'm quite happy for you to be taking on this new adventure! Just a few more days...

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    1. It really is exciting, and I'm looking forward to the whole process and beyond. I've gotta do something since my forced retirement from mommying and to support my new marine biology addiction.

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  5. So my guess was that Mr. Madrid had a wild nightlife that he hid under his daytime career meekness. How else to explain the zippered dress boots? He's probably on some porn site somewhere...

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    1. Probably right. Google him for me?

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  6. THAT is so WEIRD! I JUST dreamed that I couldn't factor a sorta-quadratic equation (in an outdoor tropical classroom). I confided to another student that I "got nowhere" on the problem. Turned out the rest didn't get very far either -- whew!.

    Then I woke up & had to go to work.....another relief!

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    1. I hate when not able to factor a sorta-quadratic equation in an outdoor tropical classroom happens!
      It's probably from regressive memories of Mr. Madrid's footwear.

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  7. I have a pretty good recollection of my teachers through the 6th grade. It gets fuzzy after that. Only the quirky and fun ones stand out.

    I'll bet you're going to be a stand-out teacher, and it won't be because you're quirky.

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    1. I remember a few quirky ones, but the ones that stand out the most were the ones who taught the best and seemed to really know what they were talking about. I'm shooting for that and hoping to keep my quirks in check.

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  8. 6th Grade - is that about 11 years old? We were moving around at that age too, but our form teacher was a young scientist. Struggling to remember his name! He was quite cool, liked rock music, probably played guitar. Told us how he had once messed up an experiment and caused an explosion in a class...

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    1. Okay, now you've got me to remember my sixth grade art teacher. Strange man.

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  9. I remember mine. He was Mr. Robinson, my first male teacher. I'd left the Catholic school in Virginia and started public school in Michigan with... a man. Turned out to be pretty cool.

    Do you know anyone who was in your sixth grade class that you can ask. (By the way, my 6th grade was the highest grade in elementary school so there were no "home rooms.") Maybe you skipped 6th grade. :)

    It'll be exciting when you eventually have your own class. I wonder if you'll have time to blog and draw and paint. I hope so...if you still want to.

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    1. Sixth grade is such a blurry abyss. Our highest elementary grade was fourth, so I'd been moving around a while by sixth.

      The drawing and painting might subside a bit, but why teach high school if not to blog all the sordid details?! ;)

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