A Teacher WhoA Teacher Who's Truly Old-School

It's bright and early at Palisades High School, but the students in Room 204 better be wide awake.

Their English teacher is fast, furious and when the hat comes out, she's on fire, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports.

"Let's see if you can handle it," said teacher Rose Gilbert. "If I'm on fire, the kids are on fire."

Meet Rose Gilbert, a.k.a. Mama G. At 89 years old, she's one of the oldest high school teachers in the nation.

"She's 89, but she's just like us. She's bubbly, she's energetic, she's spontaneous, she's amazing," said India Whitney, a student.

In her classroom, every student is a "bubbe."

"It's a term of endearment, like 'bubbeleh,' 'sweetie pie,'" she said. "I'm not gonna call them 'sweetie pie.'"

And every class is an opportunity to share her passion for literature.

"I love to teach because of the interaction with the kids," Gilbert said. "It's always something new, something refreshing and it keeps me on my toes."

She's been on her toes for 56 years. So long, she's now teaching the kids of her kids.

"My father had her in '67," said student Lindsay Jacobs. "He could not believe that she was actually still teaching here."

Students say she brings books to life, making classic themes like love and loss hit home, moving some to tears.

In the interest of full disclosure, Miller said that she must confess that she, too, was a student of Rose Gilbert's. And though she's taught thousands of kids, she says she remembers a little something about every one.

She told Miller: "You read that ou started to cry and a lot of the girls cry."

For Mama G, every day is a reunion.

"In 1986, somebody put pot in the coffee pot!" she remembered, when talking to a group of her former students.

Sixteen of her students now teach at Pali.

She's as proud as any parent. Her classroom walls prove it. And she's giving back thanks to the fortune of her late husband Sam.

At her alma mater UCLA, about 100 students owe their degrees to scholarships she's endowed.

When will she stop teaching?

"They'll have to take me out feet first!" she said.

Something tells us she'll go out kicking.
  • Michelle Miller

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