Writing a Cook Book

I think I’ll write a cookbook.

I’m getting close to the end of my teaching career, and I’ll need something to supplement my income, as well as something to keep me interested and engaged.

So I think I’ll write a cookbook!

The thing is, this cookbook won’t be about food.  Noooo, silly reader, this one will be about teaching!

You see, lately I have been engaged in a whole bunch of professional development, and my district has been buying us all shiny new boxes of curriculum materials.

And guess what?

They’re all cookbooks!

It turns out that even after teaching language and reading for thirty years, I need to have a recipe so I’ll know exactly what to say, what to show the kids and how to score everything. I need a cookbook!


I’m a really good cook, but who knew that I would need a cookbook to teach writing? I used to use paper and computers and interesting ideas and author’s sharing.

What a dope I was!

Apparently, even though I have been pretty successful teaching kids how to understand and use language effectively, and even though I have been able to engage kids in a love of literature, I have been an utter failure as a reading teacher.  I didn’t have a cookbook!!!!  Foolish old woman!!

I used to teach science by bringing bugs and frogs and rocks and plants into the classroom. We used to observe things and write in our science notebooks, and we used to come up with interesting questions about all of the science in the classroom.  How unbearably pathetic!  We needed our big boxed set of lessons.

And don’t even get me started on math!  I literally shudder when I think of how we used to use blocks and colored rods and actual coins to learn about math. How did we manage without the 20 chapters of worksheets?  We didn’t have a script…..Awful, I know!

But my district spent thousands of dollars to remedy all of these shortcoming. So now my classroom is all set up and ready to go, and all of my cookbooks and giant boxes of premade materials are lined up and organized. Now I have set my mind to writing my own teaching cookbook!

Once I do write it,  I will publish big shiny, glossy pictures of adorable children smiling as they learn.  I will sell giant 20 pound binders of instructions!  I will use wonderful, useful words like “measurable goals” and “foundational to literacy studies” and “data based instruction”.  Whoopee!

And after I box up my cookbook and the mandatory 300 pages of worksheets, I will begin to offer workshops, where I will teach other teachers how to read my cookbook and how to follow the scripts to perfection. I will do this so that they can avoid the messy mistake of thinking for themselves or allowing the children to create something on their own.  I will do this so that I can charge school districts thousands of dollars to hear my pearls of wisdom.

I can hardly wait!



5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa Williams on August 19, 2013 at 8:41 am

    hahahaha I love this analogy! However humorous it is… It’s sad, really. If people “in charge” would stop and actually think about what all the binders, worksheets, scripts, etc. are doing to our teachers, they might have a different perspective. Eh, probably not though, huh? Way to go with writing your own cookbook. Why should you be told what recipe to follow in your own classroom! 🙂


    • Glad you caught the sarcasm!
      I am just gagging over the boxed science, boxed math, boxed writing (seriously?!), now its a box of reading instruction. Um…..can’t we use BOOKS?
      I’m waiting for boxed art and music.


      • Posted by Lisa Williams on August 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

        It’s beyond comprehension…. My principal and I butted heads quite a bit and finally she just left me alone. 🙂

  2. Or…you could write a new “comprehensive” test to be used for public officials, like the Michigan teachers are doing:


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