The M.A.S.H. principle

Some of the most enjoyable and productive years of my teaching career occurred at Northeast High School here in St. Petersburg. I transferred to Northeast from Lealman Middle School, and the move was a good one. Because of the fear of getting stale, I taught every subject area in the English department curriculum. I began by team teaching 9th grade semantics. I taught American and British literature and a class of Humanities. I taught composition. Late in my career, I taught a class on fiction. During that time, the entire English department was housed on the “Hill,” a building on the corner of the high school property that rose up on the western side. The teacher’s lounge, which can be a den of griping and petty quarrelling, was the place where we practiced a survival tool that all teachers should learn. It is the M.A.S.H. principle–laugh rather than cry. Every teacher who came into that room left with a lighter load. No one was exempt from teasing, from derision, or from hearing a joke to carry him/her through until the end of the day. No teacher was superior to any other teacher. No teacher was an “island.” We thrived in that room and returned to our classrooms refreshed and reinvigorated.


About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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