So Not Happening Giveaway!!

How is it Monday again? We are bracing for a full week of standardized testing at my high school. The classes are going to be so messed up. And people from the state department will be nosing around and dropping by. Because if there's anything my students like better than ME walking around, looking over their shoulder as they test, it's total strangers coming in and staring at them.

So Not Happening is starting to hit mailboxes!!! Not sure if it's on shelves yet, but Deena of “A Peek At My Bookshelf” has posted a great review. You can read it HERE. It's always cool to get kind words about a book–especially when it doesn't come from someone with your same last name.

I'm giving away two copies of the book this week. In So Not Happening, Isabella Kirkwood moves to a new town and new school. Though a teacher doesn't exactly take her under his/her educational wing, she does get stuck in a class where she discovers a hidden talent. To win the grand prize of one pig-covered book, you need to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite teacher. (And note to my students, if you pick me, you are automatically disqualified on the grounds of pathetic suck-uppage. And you'll probably get detention and have to give me your lunch money for the rest of the year. And buy me one of those Yarnell's ice cream things from the cafeteria.) I'll randomly draw the the winners Thursday evening and announce Friday!!!

I had some great teachers in school. My kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Ida Ellis. I LOVED her. She was so good to me. Once I wore these fake pearls to school, and they got broken or something. A few days later she presented me with a replacement necklace (which I'm sure I broke too). She came back for my class's high school graduation. I still think about her and wonder where she is. She was retirement age when I was in kindergarten, so I'm gonna think good thoughts and imagine she's kicked back in a retirement community in Florida.

Then there's Mrs. Hansen. She was my first grade teacher. Her husband worked for Radio Shack (I have no idea why I remember this), and she'd bring all these cool gadgets to class, like a blow up robot. Yes, blow up robots were the only kind you could get back then, and it was pretty cool. And she had Speak-n-Spells. Does anyone remember those? It would give you a word in this really creepy voice, and you'd spell it out on this keypad. I rocked at Speak-n-Spell. I need one of those today–thanks to years of reading hideous student spelling, I can't spell worth spit now. When you read a million and one essays, you start to question every word and lose your magical gift of spelling. I miss it so.

Anyway, Mrs. Hansen would let me do my one-woman puppet shows. I would create the puppets myself with my stunning artwork (read: scary) and then put on these shows. It's a wonder anyone would play with me at recess later. I'm surprised kids didn't chunk their nuggets at me at lunch. It was also in Mrs. Hansen's class during snack time, that I decided drinking milk through a straw was kinda getting boring. So I got this brilliant idea to reroute the milk through my nose. I stuck the straw up my nostrils and just snorted. It was a spectacular failure.

I also liked Mrs. Mitchael, who is  now Mrs. Palmer. She was my gifted and talented teacher. Shocking I know–but apparently at one point my brain functioned somewhat. She was a tough teacher and always  pushed me. It drove me nuts. She's acknowledged in So Not Happening. Mrs. Palmer was the teacher who really got me to writing. Once in sixth grade I had to do this project, and I wrote my own version of Twilight Zone. It was called “Stop and Smell the Roses…If You Dare.” What originality! What suspense! And I even wrote out a cast list–all people from Dynasty, Three's Company, and Facts of Life. Yes, Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter and Jack Tripper. Greate casting instinct.

There was Mrs. Pat Brashier who told us on the first day of Algebra I we would call her ma'am and never refer to her as Mrs. Brassiere. I was like, “Oh crap. I hadn't even thought of that. Great. Now it'll just pop out of my mouth.” She ran her class like a drill sergeant, made you put your gum on the end of your nose, and just basically scared the snot out of me. Every time she looked at me, I just wanted to blurt out some sin and write out my own detention slip. But I did learn me some math. It wasn't until many years later that I found out her trips to the teacher's lounge during class were smoke breaks. In class!!!! I guess I thought she was in there drinking motor oil, chewing nails, and doing other things to fortify herself to come back and scare us some more. Her tactics would NEVER fly these days (without a nice fat lawsuit), but man, did I end up liking that woman. And she's the reason I passed the ridiculous number of college math classes I had to take. (When you pick 100 majors, you end up taking lots of math…and many other electives that have nothing to do with life or a sustainable career.)

Finally, there was Senor Kniseley. He's a very long story, but this guy was my teacher from seventh grade through college. He took a group of us on lots of trips, and basically made me appreciate culture. One year I was taking 22 and 24 hour semesters in college (don't even ask. This was even when I didn't eat junk food. How did I survive?). I was full time at the local university, but taking my foreign language at the community college to play catch up. So he sits me down as we're making my schedule, and he's like, “Your academic life is nuts and giving you wrinkles. Do you really want to be a teacher?” And I'm like, “Um. . . yeah.” And he says, “What do you REALLY want to do?” And I said, “I want to be a writer.”  I think maybe one other soul on the planet knew this. And he nods. “Then be a writer.” And I said okay and went and flunked another Spanish quiz.

So who was your teacher of choice? Let me know and get in the running for a shiny new copy of So Not Happening!!! I hope you have a great week. See you Wednesday!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 41 comments
Amy - April 20, 2009

I’ve had a ton of wonderful teachers over the years as well. However, one of my favorites will always be Mr. D in High School. I was lucky enough to have him twice, once for Sophomore English and then again for Inklings my senior year. He was dyslexic and disorganized but he taught like no one else I have ever met. He was passionate about his job, telling students on a daily basis that he loved working, but more importantly he was passionate about his students. His classroom was a mess of mirrors, books, and Narnia action figures, but every item told a story and if you stayed long enough you’d get to hear them. Mr. D took time out of his class to listen to his students, to tell us that we mattered and that God mattered, he taught us English but he also taught more than that. Thus, of all the teachers I’ve had, he’s the one who stands out the most.

Heather - April 20, 2009

My favorite was my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Rudd. She was a blast! She read us “The Boxcar Children” and I decided I wanted to live in a train car out in the middle of the woods. When I began teaching and realized there were many more “Boxcar Children” books besides #1, I was ecstatic! She also would allow me to stay in from recess to make her bulletin boards. We’d use what we called “the blow up machine”, but I’m sure it had a more “technical” name. You’d put in a piece of paper with whatever picture you wanted to trace, and it would blow it up to where you could trace it on to the bulletin board paper. Of course, if anyone ever bumped the machine, you’d NEVER get it lined back up again. My most favorite drawing was one of a cat for Valentine’s Day. It was beautiful! She was wonderful and I wish I knew where she was today. I believe she has “retired” from teaching, but hopefully she’s enjoying that retirement still!

Shauna - April 20, 2009

My favorite teacher was Mrs. Crippen, my first grade teacher. She was fun and spunky and taught us a little German while teaching us how to read and do addition. I still remember how to count to 100 in German, a skill that I’m still waiting for an occasion to use, but when I hear the word funf, I think of her. Her husband (who, incidentally, was my parents’ PE teacher when they were in junior high) was my 4th grade teacher, and he’s another favorite.

Every year, the first grade classes in our school combined to perform a play or variety show for parents. We did Hee Haw for our performance (you can see old clips of that countrified variety and comedy show on YouTube), and I was one of the girls who told a punny joke and got smacked on the butt by a fence. I was also one of the “you’ll never hear one of us repeating gossip, so you better be sure and listen close the first time” singers. Good times. Looking back, it doesn’t seem like very age-appropriate material. If I recall, we even had mock jugs of moonshine as props.

Sarah - April 20, 2009

My favorite teacher was Mrs. E. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. She used to buy me and my sisters butterfly clips to put in our hair. They were always so sparkly and gorgeous. When I moved, she had everyone in my class send me letters. Of course she was my favorite teacher. In what planet was the boy I liked going to send me a page about his life, otherwise?
I still have the butterfly clips and I still have the letters:)

Rachael - April 20, 2009

My favorite teacher would have to be my mom. Being homeschooled, I don’t really have other teachers, but I have gone to some co-ops, so I have been taught subjects by other people. But I would say my mom would have to be the best. I mean, she’s always there, and even though I now do my schoolwork mostly on my own, she’s still my teacher with so much other stuff. Stuff about life, you know? Only really cool teachers can do that. =D I love her, and hope to never reach the age where I can’t learn something from her

Rachael - April 20, 2009

And btw, did you know this blog post sounds like it’s a giveaway that’s “So not happening”?? That struck me as funny….=D

Tammy - April 20, 2009

Im homeschooled and i have been my whole, but i have to say that my mom is the most best and wonderful teacher.
She teaches everything history, math, english, science, whatever subject, shes taught it. Which just amazes me! and she teaches them in different grades. She could just send us off to school like everyone else but she chooses to teach us herself. She can be stricted but she has to be sometimes other wise we would never get anything done 😉 She gives my sibblings and I one on one time and makes sure we understand what we are learning, she teaches us in a way we understand, and if we dont get something right the first time she tells us to keep going and that we can get it right! and that is why i think Gillian Carson is the best teacher 🙂

Rachael - April 20, 2009

copycat!! =P

Being homeschooled kinda limits your choices… 😀

Lauren - April 20, 2009

My favorite teacher is my 7th grade english teacher Mrs. Spencer. She makes me love writing.

Hannah - April 20, 2009

Adding my comment with Rachael and Tammy’s remarks on being homeschooled. Being taught at home does definitely limit your teachers, but for me nothing could beat being taught by my Mom and Dad. (Sorry Jen!) Because they choose my courses, I can have Christian supplies and focus extra energy on my chosen majors. And they’re probably the only people who could endure my wailing over how evil Algebra is, while still loving me and not punishing me with Calculus problems. 🙂

Sarah - April 20, 2009

Yay on the new book. I can’t wait to read it!:)

Jenny - April 20, 2009

Y’all should totally let your parents read your comments, home schoolers! That is so sweet. I know your moms would totally love it.

Amy, Mr. D sounds awesome–dyslexic and disorganized. I love that. I can totally relate to disorganized.

Heather, I LOVED helping the teacher too. Made me feel special and all teachery.

Shauna, I still remember the thing we’d say to our alphabet in kindergarten. A apple, B ball, C castle, D doll…Also totally useless.

Sarah, that’s so neat how your teacher had them write letters for you when you moved. I love that!

Lauren - April 20, 2009

I forgot to mention this, but we have pen pals. My class writes to them in english, and they write to us in french. It’s really cool. Also, Mrs. Spencer is the one who made me take poetry seriously. I mean, I always thought that poetry was for people who were…artsy. Well, not anymore! I love poetry now! And she helped me make my writing better. It’s soooooooooooooo much fun to write now!

Kate - April 20, 2009

So I had to think about this — I apparently had great teachers! Here are my top three:

1) Mr. Hitchcock, Honors U.S. History and U.S. Government. That man scared me to death, but he made me learn. If my essay answer was ridiculous, he’d write “GARBAGE” across the top. He had a mind like a steel trap and was obsessed with the JFK assassination. He even looked like an old Kennedy, so we made up stories about how he was really JFK and that was why he wore a toupee and a suit and tie (to hide the bullet wounds). He also had a coffeemaker going in his room at all times. And on top of all of that weirdness, he was an excellent teacher.

2) Mrs. Hulvershorn, 2nd and 3rd grade. She read _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_ to us. Ever since, I have been a voracious reader. I also started writing novels in her class. She was such an encouragement to me.

3) Joss Marsh, my 19th Century British Fiction professor in college. I had her class the evening of 9/11, when suddenly nothing made sense anymore. She was British and had survived the Blitz in London as a small child. A few of us showed up to class and then read a few chapters of _Pride and Prejudice_ to us. Such small comforts, but you knew she was doing it because she was so worried for us. Still one of my favorite memories of college.

Good question, J!

Rachael - April 21, 2009

So are you gonna do like a drawing to decide who gets the books? Or just choose. Cuz I think it’s kinda hard to choose, the second person anyway. Since the first will be me, right? =D

Jen - April 21, 2009

Random drawing!! Great question, Rachael. I’ll correct that.

Kate, we’re so “sensitive” now, if I wrote garbage on a kid’s paper, I’d be caned out back. But a teacher with a toupee? AWESOME. I would’ve loved that. Actually, i don’t know how I could focus, cuz I’d be forever staring at it. And very cool (if possible) 9/11 memory. What a great professor.

Natalie - April 21, 2009

Don’t put my name in the hat. I already ordered SNH. However, my favorite teacher was either Mr. Watson (3rd grade) or Mrs. Sexton (my middle school English teacher). Mrs. Sexton told me I should be an actress, a politician, or a writer (?) :). She was the first person besides my parents who applauded my writing. She also pushed me to enter some speaking contests. I think that’s one reason I was able to move from painfully shy to just a little shy 🙂 She made me feel like my words mattered and, more importantly, like I mattered. I wanted to be a teacher for years right up until I went to college (at which point every teacher I talked to told me to do something else). I think I was just asking the wrong people. I bet Mrs. Sexton loved her job.

Megan - April 21, 2009

Sounds like a really fun read! I’d love to be entered. 🙂

I’ve had so many awesome educators over the years, it’s really hard to narrow it down… and I’m always too wordy, so I’m going to try and keep this brief! 🙂 My elementary school music teacher, Mr. Cate, has to be one of my favorite educators ever. He wasn’t just teaching us to play the bells and memorize the lyrics to Beatles songs — he was teaching us about self-esteem, dedication and responsibility. We played as a class, so when one of the members of our “band” hadn’t practiced or wasn’t making an effort, it hurt everyone.

I still pause and think of him when a song he taught us drifts over to me randomly on the radio, or as background noise on a TV show! He made everything so fun and exciting, and I learned so many classic tunes under his care. He was actually a country songwriter, too, and even had a singer score a hit or two! Amazing. I wonder what he’s doing now… you’ve inspired me to look him up! 🙂

Audra - April 21, 2009

Like you, I’ve had several favorite teachers.

Mrs. Dempsey was my second grade teacher. I don’t know what specifically made me like her, but she was a fun woman, always smiling, and she was very encouraging. She let me help her a lot. She left my school during my fifth grade year, and I remember feeling very sad that she was leaving.

Mrs. Faulk was my fourth grade teacher. She was harder on me than Mrs. Dempsey was, but she pushed me academically and didn’t let things slip by.

Then there was Mr. Howe. He was my first male teacher. Sixth grade was the year that my family started homeschooling. I was excited about it, but also unsure about how doing school via video was going to work. Mr. Howe was PERFECT. He was incredibly funny, while serious during appropriate moments. But he made learning FUN, which was a first for me.

My e mail is thepeachykeenwriter [at] yahoo [dot] com. I’d love to win! 🙂

Rachael - April 21, 2009

^^So you did school at home via video? You had an actual teacher? Did you have more than one teacher that way? Sorry bout the questions…it’s just that’s not actually homeschooling (if that was the way you were actually doing it). That’s doing “school” from your house.

Sorry if that was confusing….but there’s a difference and it matters to me lol…

Tabitha - April 21, 2009

My absolute favorite teacher of all time was Mr. Matt Pledger. We just called him Mr. Matt. He was my sixth grade science teacher. He was super funny and he had traveled all over the place. He was really into doing labs outside. We actually made volcanos and made them erupt.

He didn’t pick favorites, and I loved that. But, when he was explaining natural disasters he would always use this kid Dylan to explain it. Like, if he was explaing how a tsunami worked, he would draw Dylan’s house right on the beach and it got destroyed. Or, if he was explaining gravity, he would draw Dylan under a tree and show a limb falling on him. It was hilarious. And he made ONSC so much fun. He was just awesome. He only stayed at Pea Ridge for one year, then he moved. I was lucky enough to have him that year.

I saw him on the news a couple of years ago. He was talking about recycling. Other than that I havn’t heard anything about him sense I had him. But he is ALWAYS going to be my favorite.

Lauren - April 21, 2009

Hi again! I just thought of another favorite teacher! Mrs. Flynn. She’s my music teacher. She is soooo much fun! We have a band at school and we’re playing in the talent show this year! So I get to play twice!!!! Yeah, so Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Flynn are my 2 favorite teachers! Along with Mme. Caissie. She tutors me in math every Tuesday. I just can’t get my head around numbers! I think math is stupid, but I like algebra!!! So, my 3 favorite teachers are Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Flynn, and Mme. Caissie. Great contest Jenny!

Melodie - April 21, 2009

Yay! Another giveway!
It’s really hard to decide on a favourite teacher, so is it okay if I go with three?
Mrs. Mitchell was one of my teachers in grade 6 through 8, and because I went to a pretty small school, we got to do all kinds of fun stuff in class. We made pickles and canned tomatoes and pears, and made movies about Canadian history and then held this big feast for our families to present them, where we dressed up in costumes and made all this food. We had the coolest art projects ever, because she was really crafty, and when I graduated from grade 8 she did this amazing decoration of the gym, with a fountain and an arbor and everything, which was especially meaningful because her husband had died only a month before.
Also she was principal of the school, but she always found time to do cool stuff for us, like arrange field trips to forts, or make fudge with us at our Christmas party, or take us camping.
I know some people have put their moms because they’re homeschooled, by my mom’s a teacher so I actually was her student at school in grades 3-5…which was often not fun because she would be extra hard on me, but she was also a great teacher. We used to make mini sod houses and log cabins when we were studying pioneers, and we had medieval banquets, and made cards, and at one point I was the only person in 3rd grade, so (because I was an avid reader), she let me do novel studies instead of the normal reading book and activity books that I would have had to do.
My third favourite teacher was Mrs. Clarke, also grade 6-8. She showed us clips from X-men to illustrate physics, and taught us self-defense in gym class instead of dodgeball, and she assigned me my first real story-writing assingment…that ended up turning into a 35-page novella.
Sorry that was so long. BTW, if I don’t win I’m still preordering your book!

Sarah - April 22, 2009

Since i’m homeschooled I have to go with my mom. 🙂

she really is an awesome teacher. I honestly didn’t know i did “School” until i was in 6th grade. Before that everything was play school and field trips! I wasn’t behind, I just assumed since other kids dreaded being taught, and i didn’t, i never did school 🙂

mindy - April 22, 2009

my favorite was my first grade teacher mrs sansone she was so sweet and kind sadly she was also sick and we had a lot of substitutes thanks for the giveaway

hannah - April 22, 2009

i had a teacher named mrs. muscleman… she made all us little 3rd graders scared… but she turned out to be pretty nice…. and i think she liked me…

Shamon - April 22, 2009

Mrs.Diabaybe (Jo-Bye), My fourth and fifth grade teacher.

She showed me how to be confident young lady. She didn’t take any stuff from any student. She was caring, but she told it like it was. She was honest with us (4th and 5th graders) about how the world worked and how to survive. I will never forget her. Her famous saying when a student got out of line (with a head role)” Uh-Uhn Baby, this is Mrs.Diabye’s class!”

brenda helgeson - April 22, 2009

my favorite was mr kramer my 9th grade literature teacher. although i was an avid reader, he inspired me to read all the classics and taught me to love Shakespeare

cheryl kellery - April 22, 2009

I remember my crazy sociology teacher my senior year – he saved a sex ed course til the end of the year and blew up rubbers around the room – the man was nuts!

Lesly Orf - April 22, 2009

I loved my honors english teacher. I had her from 7th-12th grades. Her name was Miss Batty and she dressed like a bat every Halloween. She was a bit eccentric but taught me so much. I still see her around town which is great. Thanks.

Jenny B. Jones - April 22, 2009

Lesly, how fitting that Ms. Batty was eccentric. Love that name!

Chery…that would’ve been memorable. Facebook photo worthy.

Brenda, it takes a REALLY good teacher to inspire someone to like the classics!

Shamon, I can TOTALLY see this teacher in my head. Great description.

Hannah, if your name is Mrs. Muscleman, you have to have like, Michelle Obama biceps or something.

Mindy, hope your teacher had a happy ending.

Sarah, so great you admire your mom and her teaching so much.

Melodie, field trips are DEFINITELY the mark of a great teacher. A must.

Tabitha, I had a little heart palpitation when you said, “Mr. Pledger was my favorite teacher. I saw him on the news…” That’s usually not a good thing for a teacher. Glad it was a-okay!

Audra–school by video. That is too cool!!!

Megan, it says a lot that songs still make you think of Mr. Cate. Music and art teachers are great.

chris swan - April 22, 2009

I went to catholic school and my fav teacher was Sister Rita. She was fun! I even chose her name for my confirmation name thats how much I liked her.

Kathy D - April 22, 2009

Miss Rickey was a tutor of mine in high school We still send each other Christmas cards and call each other from time time.

Laura Adams - April 23, 2009

My favorite teacher was Tony Blair. He was my high school German, Physical Science and Geometry teacher. He taught us so much more than the subjects he taught though. He taught us personal responsibility.

jennifer cecil - April 23, 2009

My favorite teacher was my high school culinary arts teacher. I was able to work at my level in her class and not at a slower pace with the rest of the class.

Valerie - April 23, 2009

My english teacher is high was was soo awesome, so was my art teacher for that matter. Both had such cool personalities

Kim V - April 23, 2009

My fave teacher was Mrs. DeBels my 6th grade teacher. She always brought out the best in everyone.
Thanks for giveaway!

Pamela S - April 24, 2009

Who could turn down a copy of a book with a pig on the cover!!! What a hoot!

Leslie S. - April 24, 2009

Mr.Crosier my 6th grade math teacher was the best teacher I ever had. We were allowed to take a test at the the beginning of each unit and if we passed could move on further in ou lessons.That year I managed to make it to an 8th grade level.He was always available to answer any questions and just one of those teachers who really cared.My father passed away 2 years later and when Mr.Crosier heard he sent flowers for my father.Thanks!

Andra M - April 26, 2009

My favorite teacher ever was Mrs. Dodd, my second grade teacher. She was a blast, never assigned homework, and kept her word. After a particularly involved whole class art project, we begged her to keep it forever. She promised to keep it until we graduated high school. I don’t think any of us actually remembered that promise, but in the spring of our graduation year, I got an invitation to come back to Mrs. Dodd’s classroom for a little “2nd grade reunion”, complete with our art project. I ended up volunteering in her classroom that spring, and entered the teacher education program in college that fall, largely due to her influences both in 2nd grade and in my senior year.

Marissa - April 11, 2013

I will have to say my mom. most people do not consider this but your mom teaches you almost everything. She helps you through life and she is actually my teacher cuz I am home schooled 🙂


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