Thursday, January 31, 2013

If I were going to write a book.....

I would write about a young woman who is a teacher. I know that story sounds familiar, but seriously there is crazy stuff every day that I could write about. I'd make it only semi-autobiographical, because some days are less crazy than others, and I don't want the world all up in my business (Did I really just say that? I have a blog for goodness sake!). There is a certain anonymity given with blogging (If you choose.) compared to writing a book unless you use a pseudonym, which would of course defeat the purpose of writing a biography.

Teenagers are like the weather in KY. If you don't like them one day (or if they don't like you) wait awhile, they'll change. I have students who write me awkward love letters that I pray to the Lord are supposed to be jokes, and I have students who tell me that I'm hateful. Sometimes it is the same student. I have students who come into my room every morning before school, and talk with me, but then act like a nut case when I have them in class. Take courage new teachers of America, you may be sad, because they hate you one day, but the next day it may change. You can just never tell with children.

My students have shamelessly flirted with me before, and that always makes me uncomfortable. I always say, "I didn't even date high school boys when I was in high school." Hey, they don't need to know I didn't date anyone in high school. They are not usually graphic or crude, just like, "Hey Ms. G I'm free Saturday wanna go to Applebee's?" Ok one was, but he was that way with everyone, so I simply threatened to tell his mother and press sexual harassment charges. He stopped.

I've had students that were out of control. My first year, a student decided that he was going to answer the door every time, and the way he was going to answer it was by opening the door with his foot. This same kid gave me a chain with some dead snake skin on it for Valentine's Day. How sweet.This year, I had one kid who was so hyper that when my back was turned he got up on the counter and did a Captain Morgan pose with a chair. Seriously, I didn't even see him get up there. Just turn around and "BOOM!" there's Captain Morgan.

It hasn't been very long since I've been in college, and even my older friends can be a little crude, rude, and socially unacceptable at times (I love you though!). This leads often to me actually getting the awful jokes my kids tell each other. Nothing is worse then when you have to try to not laugh at one of those, "That's what she said," jokes. Yes, I know they are crude and tasteless, but I think we all are occasionally, if we are honest with ourselves. As the teacher, I have to take he or she out in the hall and explain to them that those jokes have no place in my classroom, because they disrupt order and instructional time, while I'm chuckling secretly on the inside about what he/she just said.

Of course if I were to write a book, I'd write about the less crazy, and more depressing parts of the job too. For example I'd have to write about apathy and laziness. I'd have to address my issues with classroom management, and kids' issues with authority. I have trouble managing a classroom like many new teachers, and I also have trouble getting kids to do their work, pay attention, and basically be a student. Those are not the moments that keep me teaching, however, and while professionally I must keep track of those weaknesses, I don't really relish talking about them much in my free time. I just have to keep telling myself that as long as there are more good things to say about my job than bad, I'm where I'm supposed to be.

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