Each day, we begin our English class with a word-of-the-day. Students are supposed to write the word in a sentence in their journals, but they have a clear preference for shouting out the first sentence that comes to mind. Today's word was tedious.
Angel: I'm tedious!
Me: Nice try Angel, but tedious means boring, not bored.
Sean: This class is mad tedious!
Me: (Swallowing my pride.) Good Sean! Just take out the "mad," and you’ll have a good sentence!
Darryl: (Quickly stands up and points angrily at Sean.) Your mama's mad tedious!
Me: Thank you, Darryl. Thank you.
My thanks were sincere. Darryl is one of the school's "most challenging" students. In other words, he's a complete pain in the ass. He's one of those smart kids who manages to get kicked out of every class for disruptive behavior. Just last week, he called Walt Whitman "wack," and he threw Leaves of Grass on the floor.
Yet there was Darryl, standing in ardent defense of my class while using the word-of-the-day in a sentence. It was a truly great moment in teaching. "Your mama's mad tedious." Little did I know, when I decided to become a teacher, that I would one day be honored by such a sentence.