The Teacher Tip

Don Graves Monday: Our Foibles

September 11, 2017

From Teaching Day By Day: 180 Stories to Help You Along The Way, by Donald H. Graves

I once watched a skit put on by our seventh graders. The boy playing me charged onto the stage, which was equipped with a desk—piled high with books and papers—and a chair.He was carrying a briefcase, which he plunked down next to the desk. Then he started to rummage through the papers. “It must be here somewhere,” he bellowed to an imaginary class. The audience laughed, and so did I—it was a near-perfect imitation. He had my physical motions and language down pat.

I guess it shouldn’t have been such a shock to me. Every day we are on display, and our students have to be able to interpret our moods and gestures for their own survival. Indeed, they laugh with one another about our foibles.

Penny Kittle (2003) says it best: “We are their entertainment.”

To learn more about Teaching Day By Day, visit

The Heinemann Teacher Tip app is a free download.