The Conference Insider
Friday, November 9, 2007

Can't We All Just Get Along?

by Andrew H., Friendswood Junior High student

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author, Nancy Cook. Upon asking what her most important advice for teachers is, the answer was thought-provoking. Cook states that loving your students and loving your job, in general, is the key to being an effective teacher. The more I think about it, the more I realize how many teachers don't love their jobs.

Dear teachers, I count on you. I look up to you. I want to please you. How in the world will I be able to reach my goals if you stare at us like squashed bugs on the dinner table? Help me believe in myself. As if junior high isn't tough enough, imagine spending your days without the support of those guiding you. I want positive feedback. Let those "AWESOME JOB!" stickers fly off the shelf. I had a teacher in the third grade that, on every paper, would give me a "Nice Try" sticker. Give me a break. Had I been old enough, I would have dropped out of school right then due to her patronizing attitude. My biggest suggestion for teachers, though, is to come to work with a smile. If you bring your "morning face," you will scare the kids into oblivion. It's bad enough that I have to deal with my mom before her daily gallon of coffee, and I can't deal with two (or more!) angry women before lunch.

Dr. Cook also mentioned that school has come a long way since she was a student. It makes me feel great that we are able to receive a superior education compared to the previous generations, so that we, as kids, have a better chance of getting the job we'll want and love, and sure, I do want a great job one day, but for now, I just want a smile and maybe even, on the rare day that I need it, a hug.

1...Thanks, NMSA!
2...Can't We All Just Get Along?
3...Writing Is the Best Therapy
4...Who's the Victim?
5...A New Way of Teaching
6...Where Did Parenting Go Wrong?

Friendswood Junior High
Friendswood, TX

Madeline A.
Andrew H.
Natalie M.
Corey S.
Nathan S.
Audrye W.

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About the authors:
These six savvy reporters live in Friendswood, Texas, a sleepy suburb south of Houston, home of TEA-awarded exemplary campus Friendswood Junior High. Under the tutelage of teacher, Danielle Wilkes and principal, Robin Lowe, these kids experienced NMSA and with laptops in hand, rushed to bring their experiences to you.