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  • Sophia Burton

Naughty or Nice?


Possessed by holiday spirit, I decided to visit teachers and ask one very serious question: “Do you think students would put you on the naughty or nice list?”

I received a plethora of responses; whether they’re accurate or not is up to the students to decide! Which teachers will receive holiday gifts, and which teachers will simply receive an inbox filled with angry emails? The teachers have answers.

Like Santa in his sleigh, I had to visit every neighborhood in the Upper School. First, I visited the leaders of the Upper School, the faculty members that guide the Holton-Arms sleigh. That could only mean two people: Mr. Lynch and Mrs. Craig.

Without overthinking the question, Mrs. Craig enthusiastically replied, “Of course, I’m on the nice list! Who could be nicer than me?”

On the contrary, Mr. Lynch said, “Naughty list.” Before he could explain his response, Mrs. Craig said, “Because he’s a bully.” Mr. Lynch agreed with her and added that he gives strikes. I always knew he was a mean one, Mr. Lynch!

Next, I went to the library. Mrs. Colburn said, “Naughty because I’m too loud in the library.”

Mrs. Gagne responded, “I would say nice, because I offer to check over your bibliographies.”

Students spend a lot of time working with their English teachers on essays, applications, etc., so the English department had lots to say. Mr. Kosegarten strongly believed students would put him on the nice list. He justified his list placement by listing his nice list qualities. He said, “I’m flexible, I’m generous, kind, friendly, and charming. I’m all of those things!”

Mrs. Salata said, “I think they would put me on the nice list, even though I have, shall we say, a piquant sense of humor.” Mrs. Spak’s answer was very logical: “I think my students would put me on the nice list because I am not giving an exam in any of my classes.”

My next interviewees were science and math teachers. I caught Dr. Krug on the way to class and asked her the big question. Dr. Krug said, “It depends if I’ve given a test that day.”

I had to hear what Mrs. Brock, new to the Math Department, thought. After a long exhale, Mrs. Brock said, “I really hope I’d be on the nice list, but I have a few students who would probably put me on the naughty list.” An honest response! Mr. DeJohn put it simply: “The nice list because I’m not mean.”

I made my final stop at the Art Department. Before Mr. Ferry could respond, a student interrupted to say, “Naughty! Naughty!” Mr. Ferry retaliated by saying, “Not a chance, nicest dude in this whole place!”

Mrs. Giridharadas said she is somewhere between the naughty list and the nice list. She added, “My students would put me on the nice list, but I can be naughty.”

My lingering question is: What if the roles were reversed? What list would teachers put students on? Although I am curious, I’m scared of the response! Perhaps when we return from winter break, I will ask students if they think teachers accurately placed themselves on the lists. Maybe I’ll check back in with them in the New Year! Happy Holidays!


[Image via WETM]

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