What is one word to describe Mrs. Baker in The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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While Mrs. Baker is many things in Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, she is consistent. From the beginning of the novel to the end, nothing seems to really shake her up; in fact, she meets everything with great poise and equilibrium.

When Holling Hoodhood accidentally lets her rats escape their cages, she is not too flustered. When the cream puffs she was taking to her meeting turn out to have chalk dust on them, she is not raging with anger. When the bottle of fermented cider breaks in the coat closet, she is calm. Even when she receives the telegram on a Friday that says her husband is missing in action, Mrs. Baker is back in school on Monday without any discernible adverse effects.

The closest we see Mrs. Baker get to being upset is when Holling's parents do not demonstrate any parental concern or love for their son and when Mickey Mantle refuses to sign Holling's ball because, he says,

"I don't sign baseballs for kids in yellow tights."

When Mr. Hoodhood does not show up to take Holling to the baseball game, she takes him. When he hurts himself and has to go to the hospital after lunging to save his sister from getting hit by a bus, Mrs. Baker is disgusted that his parents would not even leave their television program (a Christmas special, you know) to come to the hospital or see in person that their son was okay.

Whether she is happy with Holling or frustrated with him, Mrs. Baker is steady and does not fly into any kind of emotional fit of anger or excitement. Through the entire year, she is consistent both with Holling and the rest of the class. Aside from her righteous indignation on behalf of her student, Mrs. Baker is even-keeled and steady.

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