Once upon a time when I was a sophomore in high school, I had the best science teacher in my young life – a man named David Piergalini. Everyone called him Pierre. He taught biology. This man was a maestro at teaching. I can still remember his lessons on evolution and stories about “Chuck the Duck” and his webbed feet illustrating the principles of adaptation. Over 20 years later, I can still hear him talk about that.
I was fortunate in high school to have loads of wonderful teachers, but Pierre was the best. I’ve since tried to look him up and find out what happened to him but could never find a thing. He’s one of those teachers you’d love to reach out to and say thank you for having such an impact on my life. He’s probably part of the reason I gravitated towards science.
I’ve also had crappy teachers. I can remember Mrs. Daniels – my 2nd grade teacher. She was a mean bitch. I can remember putting my head down on my desk and crying the first day of school, as she threatened to pop us with a bolo paddle if we misbehaved. I also had Mrs. Knode in 3rd grade. In true jerk-face kid tradition we made up rhymes about Mrs. Knode and the commode. She had it coming, though.
Every school year is a gamble. I hadn’t thought about that in years until recently. I’m happy to say Stella and the Harpy seem to be reaching some sort of stasis. Her behavior charts have been damn near perfect for weeks. I just crunched the numbers (data driven monster that I am) and out of 155 data points, only 1% are red, 11% yellow, with a whopping 77% green. We’re now shifting our attention to making sure she completes her work.
I still think Stella and the Harpy are not a good fit. But I don’t get up every school day with a sense of dread. I now wait until I’ve left school property to fish out her behavior chart. We may actually survive this.
But please oh please, gods of the classrooms: give my little girl a Pierre next year, ok? I think we’ve earned it.