Things i didn't know how to respond to:
Student: "Ms. Daley, can you let me know when 20 minutes have gone by?"
Me: "Sure can."
20 mins. later
Me: "OK you have 30 minutes left."
Student: *angry* "Why didn't you tell me when there's 20 minutes left?"
Me: "I did ... it's a 50 minute class. You used 20 minutes. Now there's 30 minutes left."
B: "Ms Daley! Help! My butt cheeks are quivering!!"
As I'm sure many of you know, the end of the school year is chaotic at best. The approaching finish line has brought a plethora of ridiculous moments. You can see anything from a parent accusing you of failing their child (aside: if you are a parent and you're reading this, please don't ever tell your child's teacher that he/she is failing because of you. I've never met a teacher that tries to fail kids and if you think you have, well, change schools or reassess your perfect angel), to a majority of students watching How I Met Your Mother while their teacher slowly implodes (just kidding about the imploding - I think he'll keep his shit together - they have a few more seasons left).
The end of the year virus has its hold on me lately. I haven't updated in a bit. I've been too focused on finalizing summer plans and looking for a new job (insert post about a new teaching gig will go here). Instead of sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, I want to share the top 3 moments that stuck with me since my last post. Hope you enjoy.
Number 3- Conversations With B
Like the teacher who has been showing How I Met Your Mother, I've been allowing my cherubs to watch Glee in my drama class. #relevant
If you're a professor reading this, please don't scold or roll your eyes at me. "Insert deleted excuse about being tired and how the kids have "checked out here" "(I deleted it as soon as I typed it because there's no excuse for me to give).
But back to B.
He came in during an episode of Glee. The girls were talking about sex and feeling fat. After hear the conversation, B looks over to me and asks, "Is that how it works in real life? If a girl feels fat, they want sex? Or do are they insecure and want something to make them feel better?"
Number 2 - All the Graduations!
Number 1 - Junior Takeover
On the last day of seniors, the seniors gave to me:
Twelve months of mayhem
Eleven seconds crying
Ten minutes of cleaning
Nine teachers looking
Eight periods of confusion
Seven seniors snickering
Six pairs of googley eyes
Five minutes of shouting (I HAVE A ROOM FULL OF BOOTIES)
Four Corgi booties
Three "seeing lamps"
Two sriracha bottles
and one sriracha parade.
Student 1 walks into my classroom after lunch. He looks around the room, steps up on my couch, and sings: "And IIIIIIIIII WIIIIIILLLLLL ALWAAAAYYYYYS LOVEEEEE FOOD."
Conversation in 4th period:
E: Ms. Daley, do you have any scissors?
Me: In the scissor bin.
E goes to the back of the room to retrieve the scissor bin. As he walked past, I notice he a large popsicle stick.
5 minutes later E leaves his seat and runs over to my couch. I though he was punching the couch, but he was actually stabbing it with the popsicle stick.
Me: E! What are you doing?!
E: Look Ms. Daley! I made a shank!
things i overheard
"That ain't my weave ball."
Student 1: Your generation is a mistake.
Student 2: Wait, you're a part of this generation.
"You better win or I'll tickle your giblets."
Scene: B runs across the classroom with his fists up. B begins to beat student 1 with a pillow. B notices me staring at him and says, "Jesus loves you." B then runs to the door and shouts, "THERE ARE BIG BABIES OUT THERE! LOOK AT THE BABIES!"
He was referring to the next class.
During a designated break, I took a jaunt down to my room. In the hallway was B. Here is our conversation:
B: "Ms. Daley I think I need more time with the menu project."
Me: "Sure thing! It's due Tuesday so let's make sure we talk on Monday (I'm testing on Friday) and then we can talk about a due date."
B: "Shut up. Seriously? That was easy."
Me: "Shut up. I know right? All you had to do was ask."
B: "Ms. Daley, why is your nose red?"
Me: "It's super cold in the room I've been testing in."
B: "Is that a white people thing?"
Scene: Music begins in the hallway
Student 1 (screaming): "Grab someone sexy and tell her hey!"
Student 2 (turns to me): "Can I grab you?"
Me: "I will break your fingers."
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this newly released Netflix's series. SPOILERS. Hannah ultimately takes her own life after being bullied, witnessing her
friend get raped, and her own rape. (Before you roll your eyes again, please know I'm not here to discuss whether this show is appropriate for young adults. Also, if you haven't seen it, read about it first. Holy triggers, Batman)
The day after the series released, my cherubs started referring to me as Hannah Baker. At first, I was flattered; Langford is pretty after all! But today's comment left my heart hurting. Take away the whole student-teacher relationship thing for a second because I know "kids will be kids" and they want to "test your limits." So for a second, forget that she's my student. Forget that we're suppose to have this professional relationship and just listen (well, read). The whole idea of 13 Reasons Why, I believe, is that people should be sympathetic towards others. People are dealing with problems that you may not always be able to see. Basically, be fucking kind to each other, damn it.
I'm sure this student did not mean what she said (meh, 80% sure... she doesn't like me much). But why did she say it? Why did she choose to say something so hurtful and so sensitive to another human? She watched the show, didn't she get the message? There would be no way for her to know that my story is similar to Hannah's minus the death part.
Being a teacher, to me, means you must prepare your students both academically and socially. I'm a good teacher #humblebrag But for real, I know I'm a good teacher because I am becoming the teacher that I needed. This scenario, however, has required me to reevaluate my previous statement. She will be ready academically for the next year, but what about socially?
When I first began teaching, I "felt" all my students' emotions.I was not adequately prepared for the emotional side of teaching. No one told me how hard it would be. It was terrible. It was draining. It made me gain 50 lbs (insert future blog post about teachers gaining weight will eventually go here). My students experienced terrible things and I needed them to know that their stories matter. I wanted to make sure that their stories were never extinguished. I wanted to be a person that would believe them. I wanted to be the person that I needed.
I'm sharing this for a reason. I have been told that I care too much about my students. I'm too emotionally invested. I'm too young and naive. I'm too vulnerable. After today, I don't by that. I'm sharing this for anyone who needs to hear it (well, read it). It is OK to be vulnerable. It is OK to relate to your students. It is OK to show them you are a person too. There is more to teaching than standards and academic growth. I wish I was told that and I wish that my education focused more on how to handle the topics presented in Hannah's story. Maybe then she would have thought before she said what she said.
Things I didn't think I'd have to say during testing:
Post Testing Discoveries
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
To all my non-teacher readers, standardized testing is the worst. Yes, the absolute worst. You are forced to sit in a stuffy room with nothing. You can't read, grade, or design life changing and thought provoking curriculum. Nope. You have to sit and stare at your cherubs taking a test. Most of them finish early so they just stare back at you which is awkward because you end up pondering random things: Is this a staring contest? Should I blink first? If I blink first, will they think I'm weak? Oh wait, is he doing morse code - two blinks means, what? Are they staring at me or the clock? Did I just stare down a kid? Great, am I the weird teacher now? Did he just drool?
This article, "The 10 Stages of Monitoring a Standardized Test," does an amazing job of showing what monitoring a test is like. Step 8 really hit me today. I may have convinced myself I was having a heart attack. I was in mid daydream (Specifically, I was in the ambulance surrounded by the Grey's Anatomy cast) when I burped. Totally survived that "heart attack."
Anyways, I digress.
Because this is the first day of AP Testing, I decided to keep a "SHHH" tally, a "OMG-the-announcements-came-on-during-the-test" tally, and a "Misc." tally. Judge all you want. It helped me stay sane.
SHHH Tally: 33 times someone said "shhh" in the hallway
OMG-the-announcements-came-on-during-the-test Tally: 3
May all your testing be merry and bright.