Eight words I thought I would never ever say: “I want to go back to high school.”
Not to relive my youth mind you. No, the reason I would darken the door of a school with my presence is that high school is now amazing.
I know this to be 100 percent accurate because I just finished up enjoying my daughter’s back-to-school night. This is where you get to pretend you’re 17 again and go to your kid’s classes where the teachers appear to be i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e.
I don’t know about you, but the teachers I had back in the day were a mixed bag of “uh oh” and “oh no.” The majority were surly and most of them were phoning it in.
I can’t blame any of them for being turbo grouchy. I went to high school in Texas and not one single room had air conditioning. We were all a sweaty, sloppy, miserable mess.
Hold on to your clinical-strength deodorant because it gets worse. Since I went to school in the buckle of the Bible belt no one was allowed to wear shorts to class and girls were supposed to wear panty hose. We were in hell with ceiling fans.
All those icky, sticky memories were vanquished as I experienced my daughter’s schedule. Her first hour teacher was right out of central casting for an educator with a serious vibe, but with a soft side that, while not seen yet, will grow as the year evolves. She had me sitting up straight and taking notes.
Next up was an impressive savvy business executive, whom I’m guessing has the movie “Dead Poet’s Society” on auto replay and thus heeded the call to become a teacher. Basically he had me at “there will be minimal homework.”
The third class ushered in a young teacher who was so spunky I wanted to jump up from my desk and give her a high five for being the happiest human in the history of the American educational system. You heard it here first, but any student who dims her smile will have to answer to me.
As I skipped down the hall high on high school I found the next HGTV star. A teacher with a classroom so welcoming I didn’t want to leave. There were wall stencils, what looked to be a decoupaged desk and her room smelled sensational. The whole time I was in there I’m thinking is it a wall plug in or aromatic potpourri sticks?
As hard as it was to leave that classroom I was beckoned to biology. I approached the class with some fear. Biology scarred me for life. My worst high school memory was passing out in bio and hitting the floor so hard I needed 10 stitches. But this bio teacher was a radiant hipster who could even make talking about taking a snake field trip sound enchanting.
The highlight of my back-to-school journey was finally meeting the mystery man I have been asking about for almost a decade. I would see him supervising school events and inquire to anyone around me, “Hey, is that a teacher or a J. Crew model?”
Finally, I found out who this man is and the answer —not a model, but a math teacher. I was stunned. My algebra and calculus teachers all looked to be 102 with goiters and support socks. I’m telling you if all math teachers appeared to also be moonlighting as super models student enrollment in math classes would soar. Say hello to a nation of STEM degree-holders.
When I got home I cheerfully blabbered to my daughter about how lucky she is to have such great teachers. She looked up from a text book and sighed, “Yeah mom it’s all fun and games until you have to actually do the homework and take the tests.”
Well, um, gulp, there is that.