I’m killin’ this teacher thing. Thirteen years has given me the confidence to speak that into the universe. I. Am. Killing. This.
Lies! Y’all, those are lies! Thirteen years at this thing has taught me that I’m not killing it, have never been killing it, and never will be killing this teacher thing. Every year is different. Every semester is different. Every month is different. Every day is different. Every student is different.
You know what’s NOT different? The stories. The stories that your precious offspring bring to show-and-share’s around the world. Priceless does not even begin to describe these insights into your homes, your weekends, your families.
These nuggets give me life.
I’ve had parents come to conferences throughout the school year and say things like, “now I see where they get that from” or “so-and-so sounds just like you” or “I wondered where they heard that.” I see you, Susan. And I raise you 3 nuggets from your past weekend. <winks>
Listen, I have 100% confidence that my school kids go home sounding like me. I know for a fact that they say “what in the ham sandwich” and “really” and “got it” and “ummmm” and “listen” and “y’all remind me because my head is bad” and a whole host of other things I’m sure my colleagues (and students) could easily rattle off for you. The thing is, I know this. I. Know. This. So I censor myself. <rolling laughter> I mean, come on…I need this job.
BUT, do you know who DOESN’T censor themselves?
You don’t censor yourself at home, in the car, at the store, during your parties, in the midst of arguments, or during conversations not meant for little ears. You are being you, and your story-telling youngin’ is soaking up the details…down to your facial expressions, your hand motions, and the music playing in the background. They are forming reactions to these seemingly normal events, preparing to bring magnificent voice to their story…storing some extra details (that may not fit directly into the main story), ready to throw them out and elicit tell-me-more reactions from their audience when it’s time to present their experience. To the class. At school. In public. Without you there to clarify.
I wish I kept a journal for these stories. Just these stories. It’s probably better–for you AND me–that I stored them in my failing brain. So, when you’re in a parent conference and you have the urge to let the teacher know how well your child mimics her at the dinner table…think of this…
My dad shot a hole in the refrigerator. I mean, the whole way through. It actually went straight through and into the wall behind it. There’s a picture there now. <shrugs>
I went on a trip to the fair this weekend. It was a really far drive, and I asked my mom like 800 times when we’d be there. She pulled off the road and put her head on the steering wheel. Yeah, I was quiet for the rest of the trip.
I’m not allowed to play my games this weekend. So I snuck downstairs and played them while my mom and dad were sleeping.
Me and my brother locked my other brother in the closet. For, like, a long time.
When my mom and dad die, I’m gonna get my dad’s old truck. We’ve already decided that. I’m gonna get my dad’s truck and all the dogs. My brothers can, ya know, fight over my mom’s jewelry and the other stuff in the house.
We had a big party this weekend. With crab legs and cookies and all. We had a bunch a people there, too, like all my momma’s friends. But so-and-so ate too much, so my momma kicked her out. She was real mad. But, how you gonna come to my momma’s house and eat up all her stuff?
So, before we came here, my mom was a lazy and grumpy mom. I mean, my dad says that. And then when we came down here, she’s not a lazy and grumpy mom. She does stuff with us and works and stuff. But she still is kinda lazy and grumpy still.
My momma said she ain’t signin’ that. <neck roll and eye roll>
I went to a birthday party this weekend. It was fun until my mom hit the lady. Then we had to leave. But I still got a treat bag!
My grandma told me to give this to you. (gives me an index card with a phone number on it) She wants you to give it to Officer __ (our School Resource Officer). She says it’s a ticket.
My dad says to ask you if you want coffee.
My dad says if you needed a place to stay, I can move out of my room.
My dad says to tell you if you ever need anything to let him know. My mom just rolled her eyes at him.
I mean, let’s have a moment of silence.
THESE. NUGGETS. GIVE. ME. LIFE. Most of the time, I have no response. Sometimes I REALLY want to ask clarifying questions…but I fight the urge. Some rabbits holes I just don’t want to go down.
To be fair…while I work extremely hard to censor myself at school, giving a very specific model to bring home…I most definitely do NOT edit my home self. I’ve just taught my home kids to keep that stuff at home. I mean, taught…threatened…is there really a difference?