English teachers across the state are Charleston-ing with glee and celebrating the easiest time of year as literally every high school in Minnesota is preparing to have their 10th graders read The Great Gatsby.
“I remember the first time I read The Great Gatsby,” shared Mr. Perry, who has been a 10th grade English teacher at Wayzata High School for the past 28 years. “It was also in my 10th grade English class, where my teacher reminisced about the first time she read The Great Gatsby, which was also in her 10th grade year.”
When researching the history of curriculum that 10th grade English teachers have come up with, there was not one that didn’t include a section where The Great Gatsby was read, and all of them had the book scheduled for the same week, covering the same chapters at the exact same time.
“I get some of the best sleep of my life during the Gatsby unit,” recalled Ms. Simon, Minnesota English Teacher Of The Year Recipient 2011, 2014, and 2017. “I have taught it so many times that I can literally teach it on autopilot. I developed a neat little trick where I glue googly eyes onto some glasses and wear them when I am lecturing about the illusion of the American dream or whatever. I even have enough energy at the end of the day to not immediately crash on the couch when I get home”.
Other 10th grade teachers shared Simon’s sentiments, mentioning that this is the one time of year that they don’t feel so burdened by the broken public school system. But apparently there are some teachers who don’t agree.
“There is a rumor,” Simon shared ominously, getting up to lock the door and close the blinds during her interview. “That one year, a 10th grade English teacher in Bemidji tried to remove Gatsby from her curriculum and she was bullied so hard that she decided to leave education all together and become the complete opposite of a kind, well-spoken English teacher: a politician.”