Not long ago I was asked to cover an English class for five minutes while the teacher went to pee. It happens.
Since I used to teach English, the teacher asked me to explain to the students why they should replace "to be" verbs with other, more engaging and descriptive verbs. I explained to the students that "to be" verbs would work, but they're bland, uncreative. I told the students that there were various types of cookies in the world--there were the cookies that are made from scratch, made with care and precision, and there were the kind you get in a gooey tube, slice into coins, and cook. "To be" verbs, I told them, are the slice-and-burns of the English language. More creative, descriptive verbs were used to make your sentences from scratch. Then the teacher came back and I went back to work.
After school, the teacher told me to stop by her room tomorrow. The kids were making cookies for me, she said.
Man, I miss the classroom.