Ah, the joys of teaching! I am a font of advice for students, particularly middle schoolers. About work and life and everything.
As I up my writing game from hobbyist to professional, I’m thinking I should “do as I say.” Because some of my advice isn’t half bad!
Former students will tell you that these are my most famous sayings. A little infamy works in my favor sometimes! This time I’m listening to myself…
“I hope you had a happy childhood…because it’s over.” A shocker, right?Translation: Quit pouting. Buck up and quit being a little kid about hard stuff.
“You are not ‘special’ in here.”
Translation: No special privileges for you–or for anyone! There’s no shortcut around hard work…and deadlines.
“Should you have said that thought aloud? To me?”
Translation: Blabbing everything you think brings trouble. Grow a filter.
“Don’t wake up the sleeping dog.”
Translation: When purposely provoked, peaceful dogs can bite. Don’t stir up drama without a very good reason. Because there will be a reaction, and it might not be one you expect or like.
“Stupid is a choice.”
Translation: Stupid comes from “stupor,” as in “Doh, I dunno.” So pay attention. Listen. Smarten up. You’re too old to play dumb anymore.
“This class is easy until it isn’t.” (This is for my high school fiction students.)
Translation: Sure, we analyze movies and watch interviews and fun stuff. But when it’s time to get down to the business of writing, lean into the pain and produce.
There you have it. Sage advice for more than just students. Particularly the “no pouting” part.