Slow Down, Casanova!

I think we can all agree that there is no such species quite as, well, unique, as the high school student.  Really, is there any being that can be so profound, yet so mystifying at the same time?  High school students teach us teachers a lot.  They teach us such edifying knowledge on how to use the computer, how to manipulate the thermostat, how to access pirated versions of The Dark Knight on the web (long story), and, most of all, how to dougie. Sometimes though, they go beyond the call of duty to teach you a lesson that transcends all others: how to woo your English teacher.

Wooing your English teacher takes a little more finesse than one might think.  It turns out that you can’t be like a besotted six-year old boy sitting next to his favorite camp counselor on the school bus and beam at her from departure to arrival.  Nor can you be like the college student visiting his instructor during office hours drenched in Drakkar Noir to describe how he lifted very heavy weights the night before.  No, these tactics won’t do.  Remember, these are devised by the teenage mind and are aimed at befuddling, bewildering, and beleaguering your beloved literature-lover and grammarian.

Now pay close attention to learn how you, too, can turn her heart away from the likes of Atticus Finch and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and make it your own.

Show Initiative: Even after you have disclosed your fear of public speaking to her, volunteer to present your project first.  She will remember you for your gallant and brave action.

Greet Her Everyday:  This is a very important step in making sure that she knows that you exist.

Say “Goodbye” To Her Everyday:  Just in case she didn’t notice you when you walked in the door to greet her, make a point to look her in the eye, and say goodbye.  If she’s trying to discuss an issue with another student, stand there, wait, and stare until she turns, looks at you, and says, “Do you have a question?”

Remind Her Of Your Outstanding Qualities: Your English teacher is most likely a very busy woman.  My, with all of those essays to read, lessons to plan, and lectures to write, she may become a little forgetful of the various ways that you have dazzled her in class.  Be sure to remind her, often, that you say “hi” and “bye” to her and that you courageously went first for the presentation– oh, and don’t forget the one time you passed out papers, too.

Render Her Speechless With Your Keen Observations Of Her Favorite Novel:  After you have read, discussed, written about, and  completed projects about your teacher’s absolute-most-favorite novel, ask her that one elusive question that has been burning in your brain, the mother of questions, the questions of all questions: “I don’t get it.  How could Darcy and Elizabeth love each other?  Like, they spend no time together.”  This will certainly stun her into silence as she stares at you in wide-eyed wonder.  She will for sure be brought out of this state of incredulity at your brilliance by another student who will revive her by suggesting, “Ignore him.  He’s a boy.  What does he know?”

Discuss Her All-Time Favorite Movie: 
Teachers like it when you go out of your way to learn about their interests or what’s going on in class.  Learn about the version of the film she plans to show in class and engage her in conversation like the following:

You: Are we watching the 2005 Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice?

Teacher (smiling): Why, yes!  We are!

You: Yeah, I started watching it.

Teacher (interested in what you have to say): What did you think of it?

You: Yeah, I didn’t finish it.

Teacher: Why not?

You: It was boring. Yeah.

Trust me.  Follow this script and you will hit it out of the ball park.

Impress Her With Your Progressive Values And Gentlemanly Charm:  Make it a point to walk her to car on those days when you are leaving at the same time.  Take an interest in her outside life; ask her what she’s planning on doing that evening.  If she answers with some activity like “Write”, follow up with a question that values her interests, like, “Aren’t you going to make your husband dinner?”.  If she states that her husband is making dinner, wow her with your ideas of how you expect your wife to cook and clean so you will have to do nothing.

Show her that you are a teenage boy of your word.  When you see that she is carrying two heavy bags, offer to do nothing.

Always be a gentleman and escort her to her car– especially on the day when she’s carrying the two heavy bags, forgotten where she’s parked, and walked past it by forty feet.  At that point, let her know that her car is over there, behind her, and that you wondered why she walked right past it.  Your act of kindness will endear you to her greatly.

Last, But Not Least, Remind Her How Special She Is:  On the last day before break as everyone is scurrying out of the room, loudly proclaim, “Everyone else is not saying goodbye to you or wishing you a good break, but I am!”

There you have it: the sure-fire way to win your English teacher’s heart.  Sure, she may have an apple on her desk, but these strategies will make you the apple of her eye.

11 thoughts on “Slow Down, Casanova!

  1. You make me so happy that I am neither a teacher or a teenager. I’d forgotten what teenage boys were like (my nephew doesn’t count anymore; he’s mostly stopped acting like a teenager in my presence).

    1. Everyday is an experience that is for sure! Mostly it’s all pretty humorous, but I don’t think people realize how strange, funny, and weird it is to be a teacher and have to deal with the essence of teenagers.

  2. You’ve got me smiling. :o) I think you should have a “hilarious teacher” blog that targets only high school students, but then the rest of us would be missing out. I love your sense of humor.

    1. I agree. That would be a cool blog! Between your stories and my former classmate’s stories about 6th grade history teaching, you guys could strike it rich 🙂

  3. I’m sorry, but I have to ask – on occasion, are you taking the piss? I really enjoyed your post and I found your views and ideas to be incredibly interesting (and some instances may even be capable of working on uni professors as well), but on occasion not everything seemed clearly serious. I apologise if I have insulted thee with my interpretation. Again, very good post!

    1. You read it right–I am full on taking the piss here. The only advice I’d take from this is to volunteer first and to say hi and bye (without the staring). I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Oh dear, I certainly hope nine of my students this advice as I find it ever so awkward when they practice their beginning arts of woo. I always cringed when my seniors paid me extra compliments. Alas, now that gray is sneaking in my hair the days of overt compliments are past. Grandma types do not inspire crushing.

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