Friday, June 21, 2013

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

Now that the school year is over and I have had the chance to recover from my first year of teaching, I had time to consider all that I have said and done in this past year. The most incredible thing dawned on me: As a teacher I have said a lot of things that would sound totally, utterly, and completely psychotic. So, as a courtesy for all of you considering teaching, I have compiled a list of the weirdest, funniest, and absolutely most bizarre things that I have said to my students in this past year.

Ready for this? I promise you I'm not insane. Well, maybe I am...just a little bit, but that bears little relevance on the following things that I have said to my students. You may infer what you would like about the situations in which these statements were made, but be warned, if you judge me, I will totally judge you. I will judge you like Judge Judy judges the crazy lady who stole the fourth post in her neighbor's fence just to make a statement. Consider yourself warned.

Here they are, things that I never thought I would say as a teacher (most of them I never thought I would say at all):

- No, I don't want to see if your booger is bigger than his.
- You may not touch my face.
- I don't care if  he is warm, you can't sit on your buddy's lap during class.
- Stop sniffing her.
- No, I don't want to know what your feet smell like.
- Yes, that sitting too close. Sitting on someone's arm is too close.
- What do you mean his crotch is glowing? Put the phone away!
- I don't want to know about the mating rituals of zombies.
- Take the kitten out of your pocket and put it back outside.
- I will not make you a sandwich.
- No, you may not do a juicy fart contest.
- Stop trying to ride the sheep and get in here.
- Being a weapon of mass seduction is not against safe school policy, so, yes, you have to be here.
- Put the fish back in your locker.
- No cannibalism.
- No, having six pack abs doesn't mean you have an illegal substance at school.
- How did you get stuck in the window?
- I don't care if you are Batman, your homework is still due right now.
- Stop pretending to pole dance and write your essay.
- Quit taking pictures of me. I don't care if you are trying to capture the feeling of our class for your mom.
- Thank you, but I prefer not to use a wooden spoon for disciplinary measures.
- As nice as that sounds, I don't think hitting (insert student name here) with a cattle prod would solve anything.
- Don't you dare hog tie him!
- Get the space heater out of your locker. I don't care if it keeps your jacket warm, you're going to burn down the school.

And the piece d'resistance, the thing I never thought I would ever say in any circumstance, ever:
- Hold the llama.

If you've been teaching for years, you've probably said your fair share of insane things too. If you are just starting to get ready to teach, just think of all the things that you are going to say this coming year that will make you sound utterly and completely insane. Oh joys!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surviving the First Days...

So, maybe lazy was a bad word choice. I'm not lazy. I'm just careful about what I choose to do. I started off not being as "careful" as I am now. Three months ago, I was your typical newly hired secondary teacher (I teach 8th grade English) who was super excited to start teaching. I threw my all into what I was doing. I stayed up late and got up extra early to get everything done. That lasted for about a week. Then I died. Died is a strong word. I didn't die. I had an out of body experience. As in, my brain left my body to go on hiatus. I finally figured out that, in teaching, being careful about what you do is not wrong. It is your saving grace. So, this blog is all about the things that you can do to enjoy your chosen profession much more and ways that you too can be "careful" about the work that you do.

I know that many of my friends just got their student teaching placements. For those of us who are teaching, we are excited to welcome them as colleagues. However, there are a few things that I wish I would have known. So, because I am as awesome as David Letterman, and as funny, and clearly better-looking, I thought I would share the Top Five things that new teachers should know that no one ever tells you. I would have done ten, but, like I told you before, I'm careful about what I do.

5. Teenagers don't have brains. They traded them in for extra hormones. It's nothing personal. God doesn't hate you. If anything, He hates them. They smell bad. Buy air freshener. Those hormones stink. Since teenagers don't have brains, it doesn't affect them. But you have a brain. It does affect you. Don't succumb to the noxious fumes.

4. Storms will cause the children to lose their minds. Seriously. I did not believe this, but if there is a storm coming your way, your students will turn into a different alien species. It's like voodoo. Only scarier. Be prepared to do more disciplining and yelling when a low pressure system moves in. Hence, make sure your water bottle is full and that you have said this phrase to yourself before you leave the house, "I love the children. I may want lightning to strike one or two of them, but I love them."

3. Repeat after me: "I am not a pencil vending machine. I am not a paper dispenser. I am not your mother. I am not your maid." These four phrases should be posted in your classroom. It reminds the children, and it also gives you reason to be thankful that you are only their teacher and do not have the other four jobs, which are, very likely, much worse.

2. Have comfort food hidden somewhere. I realize that you are going to change the world. That's wonderful. Have a cookie. Then you can change the world and not kill any children while doing so. There will be bad days. There will be days when the most heinous form of torture doesn't seem like it will be enough to punish the children for their obnoxious behavior. Have a chocolate. I promise you'll feel better. Take some time for yourself. Watch a gross chick flick with kissing in it that would make your students gag, read a book, take a nap. The children will be naughty again tomorrow, but you will feel better equipped to deal with it.

1. As long as it looks professional, the children don't need to know that you are wearing your yoga pants to school. You laugh. Fine. I don't care. Buy some nice looking clothes that are comfortable. You will have  days when you wake up and feel as terrible as one of your students on a test day. Only you won't have zits. Or imbalanced hormones. Or a relationship that will last for ten minutes. Or maybe you will. That's sad. Anyway, those comfortable clothes will become a staple. I suggest (for the ladies) black yoga pants and a blazer that is made of the same material as a hoodie. For the gentlemen, I suggest black scrub pants and a blazer like I suggested for the ladies. For both, make sure you have some of those warm slipper shoes and flip flops. I guarantee you'll teach better if you're comfortable. It is also easier to leap buildings in a single bound, catch bullets with your teeth, and stop that kid from throwing a paper air plane if you have clothes you can move in.

There you go. That's my confession. For now. I'll be back later. Maybe next time I will discuss the virtues of duct tape. For educational purposes, of course.