Today “Mrs. G” turned 70. My veteran colleague (8th grade American history) was featured here in the early days of this blog, back in 2008. She’s still teaching, and she spent today basking in all the attention. The choir sang to her. The band did a march-by and played for her. Most of the staff wore what they thought was her favorite color (turquoise–it was really indigo, which “isn’t the same you know”). Several staff members got faux wrappers made for Hershey bars that featured her name and gave them out to the staff. One of the local news stations did a morning feature on her. She made the kids watch Rip Van Winkle in her classes today because they didn’t understand a reference she made to it the day before. Her room looks like a florist’s. And since she likes to hire out my student assistants and pay in candy, I know my girl and I will be the ultimate recipients of much of the chocolate pile on Mrs. G’s desk.

She started in our district at what was then a 7-9 junior high at the age of 22.

That was three years after I was born. That’s 48 years with what are now politely called middle schoolers.

The running gag around our site is that in 20 years the only people still here will be me and Mrs. G. She’ll be 90 and I’ll be… you do the math. But I still won’t have as many years as she does now.

I looked a bit online, and found that this guy was 93 in 2010 and was in his 75th year of teaching. But “only 51” of that was with teenagers (high school math); the rest was college. Piece of cake. I also found this old school (duh) guy who was 94 in 2010. He (duh again) favors a return to corporeal punishment.

Here is a repost of a classic Mrs. G moment.

“Mrs. G” has been teaching in our district for over 40 years. She’s been at our school since it opened in 1980. She’s taught English, art, social studies, music, and much more. She is literally an immovable object, and doesn’t need to rise from her chair to strike fear (well, not exactly fear any more, but…) into 8th graders’ hearts. She doesn’t care what people (parents, admins, other teachers) think of her, and speaks her mind whether it’s “appropriate” or not. She currently teaches 8th grade US history, and has been going toe to toe with a particularly pesky student I had last year. Now, this “Steve” sends me e-mails about how the posts he’s reading in the discussion forums on our Moodledon’t have enough thought behind them, and he has a real brain. But he’s a loud-mouthed pain in the rear, whose parents it seems, are wrapped around his finger. I was probably the only teacher he got along with…until Mrs. G.

He’s still a pain, and though, like me she recognizes and likes the Steve underneath, she’s not afeared of giving what she gets. So…

Food is not allowed in our classooms. But Steve had been bringing peanuts purchased at break into Mrs. G’s room, and eating them during class. She could never catch him with the goods, but she could always smell the peanuts on his breath. And for several days, she would warn him that she knew what he was doing, and for him to stop. Finally, after several days of this, she again smelled peanuts on Steve’s breath, and burst out angrily (and loudly — she does nothing quietly): “Steve! I am sick and tired of smelling your nuts.”