The other day one of our students had stayed after school to work on an assignment with me. He was waiting for his mom to pick him up and wandered into the room next door, which is another one of his teachers’. He was surprised to see her still there and asked,
“Mrs Teacher! Why are you still here?”
“I live here. My desk folds out into a bed.”
“You mean, like a futon?”
This is a real thing. Some people I know don’t believe me, but it’s so real it’s almost painful.
My teacher brain has symptoms like super restless insomnia. I am sometimes so tired that I think I might throw-up, but for some unknown reason, my brain spins and spins and spins. It thinks about different seating possibilities for that obnoxious kid in 5th period. It revamps all my warm-up activities for the week. It lurches ahead to March and starts designing a unit that I don’t need to think about for at least another 3 months. It’s absurd.
No matter where I am, or what else I’m doing, I’m almost always thinking about my students, or my curriculum, or my classroom organization. ALWAYS.
It was so absurd this month that I forgot to pay rent. For the first time in the history of me, I just totally blew it off. *Sigh* I’ll try again next month.
Kids, especially middle school kids, are always making strange noises. They suck their teeth, they hum, they make clicking and licking and slurping sounds just to be gross. They tap things – their pens, pencils, knuckles, fingers, notebooks, backpack straps, you name it, it can make noise. It’s a cacophony of sounds on any given day. Today, I’d just about had it with all that rapping and banging and tapping and smacking, so I stood in the back of the classroom and brawcawed like a chicken (and I make a very realistic chicken if I do say so myself). They didn’t even notice, which made it all the funnier for me.
I got an email yesterday that someone had actually commented on this thing! Rest assured, I am still here, trucking right along. I actually pop in regularly to click through my links to other blogs. I haven’t posted for a number of reasons, the biggest is that this may be my hardest teaching year, except for my first, although really it might be worse because I know what is possible in my classroom, and not being able to make that happen is killing me. I just feel like such a Debbie downer that I don’t want to be all full of darkness here. Also, the things happening at my school are so distinctive that I fear I would “out” myself if I dared to write about them. I’m just sayin’, I have some real wackadoos this year. “All the more reason to post!” you might argue. Yeah, you might be right, but my heart just isn’t in it, and my posts with no heart really suck.
It’s not all bad, I do have a few adorable tiny boys with serious cases of the wiggles, and they never cease to amuse me. The true wackos are taking up most of my energy these days though and I’ve become very disheartened with “The System” and the total lack of accountability for parents.
On the brighter side of the moon, I have made a major (two major actually) life-changing decisions, both are very very exciting for me, but cannot yet be revealed. (No, we are not having a baby!) Is this a desperate ploy to get you to keep checking back here until I can actually reveal my news? Maybe. I hope it works!
It won’t be long now….
7th grade boys love to throw things, and 7th grade teachers love to take those things away. Secretly, the best part about taking things is getting to play with them after the kid goes away. I confiscate three or four handballs a week during the warm weather because they can’t resist the temptation to throw the darn things down the hallways. I always give them back at the end of the day or week, which one depends on how many times I had to ask for them to hand it over. If I have one for more than a day, I usually bounce it around the room a bit as I take breaks from grading after school.
Today, another teacher made a huge score and took a football from some poor kid. Long after most of the kids had left we decided to play around a bit and ended up tossing the ball back and forth down the long hallway. To spice it up a bit we took my desk chair (it has wheels) and would attempt to do a running and leaping combo catch of sorts. The idea is that we would manage to catch the ball while leaping and then land in a something resembling a sitting position in the chair, which would of course go rocketing down the hall and bouncing into the walls. We were mid-game when one of my students stumbled upon us as he was looking for the jacket he left in class. The look on his face was priceless – his eyes practically popped right out of his head as he stared at us. It was all I could do to contain myself as I untangled myself from the chair, handed the other teacher the ball and went to unlock the classroom where his jacket was. I’m quite sure he never expected to get that kind of a glimpse into the secret lives of teachers…