Mrs. D is my son’s English teacher. In fact, because he’s in the French Immersion program in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, and they don’t get any English instruction until Grade 2, Mrs. D is the first English teacher my son has ever had.
And she’s great.
I have to admit – not that I’m proud of this – that I didn’t pay so much attention to the English instruction my first son got in Grade 2. This is partly because I wasn’t at all worried about him (his middle name should be “bookworm”) and partly because his teacher basically faded into the wallpaper. I couldn’t tell you one single thing she did with those kids; we never got any work sent home and the only marks we ever saw were on the report cards. And they were good marks so, you know, why worry?
However, it’s a night and day situation with Mrs. D. She’s present. She’s active. She wants to teach these kids. She has a plan. She’s stimulating my son who, by the way, is also an excellent reader but is a little less passionate about literature than his brother.
Mrs. D has my son writing poems, acing spelling tests, etc. I asked him what they’re working on now and he said “telling stories”.
“Writing stories?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “That comes later. First we’re learning what you need to make a story.”
My ears perked up. I won’t lie. I was very, very excited. You see, during my latest round of revisions on my current manuscript, I’ve decided my mantra – for now, anyway; until I can juggle more – is to Keep it Simple Stupid (the Stupid is me, btw).
Who better than to give me KISS advice than a Grade 2 English teacher?
Well, I’m pleased to tell you Mrs. D did not disappoint.
So, for the rest of you who may not have had such a great Grade 2 English teacher, here are the things you need to make a story:
- A problem or goal.
- A solution.
- A setting.
I can do that! You can do that too, can’t you? After discussing this fantastic summary, we then went through several of the boys’ favourite books figuring out what the problems are and solutions were.
A most satisfactory dinnertime conversation.