If You Want To Be A Teacher…

If you want to be a teacher you must have a sense of humor, you can’t take yourself too seriously and you have to love your job.

As a teacher, I always try to remember that I was once 12, 13, 14 and so on.  There was a line back then.  The stories I could tell!  The stories I DO tell – changing the names, of course.  You have to laugh about it.  I mean, you might scream at the time, but when it’s all over you have to laugh.

I’ve had so many interesting things happen in my 13 year career.  Kids pleasuring themselves in class, humping the chair, sticking a toy up their butt and making the class smell it, simulating “from behind”, refusing to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance, crying boys, farting, burping, swearing, dropping pants, runaway girls, nose-hair curling B.O. and the list goes on.

It’s not only the kids you have to deal with (they’re easy) – you’ve got their parents, your bosses, your colleagues and the whole friggin’ community!  It’s a hard profession to live up to but somehow we do.  There are so many variables thrown into the mix when you’re dealing with kids and the enormous lot of people I just mentioned that your head may sometimes spin at the end of the day (if you’re lucky) and sometimes the entire day.  That’s when you know you’re going to have a LONG week.

Long weeks are the worst!  You know you’re going to have a long week when:  your boss screams at you within the first three minutes of the school day, there are four subs in your wing alone, Joe S.  just de-pantsed Billy B., you found a pile of “sh* *” in the stairwell, you stopped off in the bathroom to pee and sat in someone else’s piss, you got stuck in the elevator for ten minutes, the internet is down, you can’t access your files, you hear your name on the P.A. and wonder what the hell they want, your voicemail light is blinking incessantly and you can’t bear to check it, you have 50 new e-mails from parents and the CST, you have an IEP meeting and the parents don’t show, you forgot to run off today’s quiz, someone got their period and there’s evidence of it in your room, two kids just left your class with a stomach virus and didn’t make it to the bathroom, there’s an 8th-grader crying in the bathroom because her boyfriend dumped her, some kid just got sent home drunk and you broke your heel in the shoddy floor construction.

If you go back after all that it means something because you’re going back for more and more and more.  Many first year teachers don’t make it far because it can be a circus.  In my opinion, a circus that is definitely worth it.  I love my kids despite all the drama.  And I do repeat…

If you want to be a teacher you must have a sense of humor, you can’t take yourself too seriously and you have to love your job – and I for one DO.

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5 responses to “If You Want To Be A Teacher…

  1. Patricia Manning

    This is so on the money. This week was a long week for us.

  2. The funny thing is, ALL of that stuff has happened to me also and I LOVE my job too!

  3. pee pee in the class too!

  4. OK…..I HAVE to comment on this. All during my high school years and right afterwards, my intent was to become a teacher (this was in the late 70s, early 80s). Right out of high school I got a job as a teacher’s aide at the local Head Start program. After 2 years of chasing around unruly, bratty kids and being told that certain words like “bad” or “don’t” are no longer acceptable terms to use with children (the start of that ultra-liberal bullshit), I decided that having to deal with other peoples’ out-of-control kids was no longer my desire; I went in another direction and wound up in Human Services working with handicapped adults and children for the next 15 years. At least, I felt, they couldn’t help some of their behaviors and I was able to work with that.

    Here’s what I want to know: what kind of school do you work at and what the hell is going on with those kids? Do you teach a special-needs class or am I correct in suspecting that this generation of kids is far more out of control than I thought? Here’s what I DO know about classrooms these days: kids don’t pay any attention to their schoolwork and instead spend their time texting their friends in the other classrooms, you’re not allowed to reprimand anyone for fear that you might lose your job or worse, be prosectued, and you’re forced to teach certain subjects that you find difficult because it goes against the grain of your ethics and morals.

    I think its great that there are people like you who enjoy what you do. I just don’t know how you do it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike kids, but the state of the world today makes me really dislike mingling with them in public. (As an example, if you walk into the Food Court entrance to our local mall, there is a bar table in front with bar stools for people to eat at. There may be a few 4 and 5 year-old kids running around the table, knocking into the stools while people are there trying to have their meal. The kids are loud and clumsy and as you look around you find that their parents are nowhere in sight. …but you finally find them off to the side, all the way in the back, enjoying THEIR meal in peace and quiet. Nice, huh?) I don’t blame the kids….I blame the unattentive parents who no longer teach their children boundaries, ethics, responsibility, respect for elders or superiors, etc., etc., (and the list goes on and on).

    Yes, I remember being an adolescent and a teen and there were just those few kids who were trouble, but for the most part, we were behaved and we payed attention and the teachers were in charge in their classrooms. In grammar school back then, the teacher still had the authority to rap you if you didn’t listen and when you went home and cried to your mother her response was: “Well, what did you do to make her smack you?” I think we’re all better adults for that.

    Again, I don’t know how you do it. You really do love your job. As for me, if I had become a teacher, I wouldn’t be responding to this right now; I’d be in an insane asylum with a straight jacket on in a rubber room, rocking and drooling. LOL

  5. Hi, Jacqui, I am so relieved that along with trying to teach my children to be good and caring people and staying on top of their education that I am also teaching them some other important skills that I see others are lacking in your classroom. Being a mom of three boys I have a huge rule that it is fine to “pleasure” yourself (as you so nicely worded it) as long as it is in private. I recommend that they should either use the bedroom or bathroom. I also say, take your time and don’t rush as I am sure their wives will someday appreciate not having jack rabbit lovers. The second other important skill I am a stickler on is the whole body odor thing. I even will do an occasional arm pit check. And when my husband gets pissed at them for taking multiple showers in a day, I tell him, LEAVE THEM ALONE, HAVE YOU SMELLED SOME OF THEIR FRIENDS? So from your teachers perspective I am so glad to see that I know what is important. LOL!

    Comment to Karen, Not only do children lack ethics, responsibility, and respect but it seems to be the way of the world. It is a scary thing to think aboout. And just to touch on this subject I know plenty of well behaved children who have special needs. Far too often, parents, teacher’s and children use a disability as an excuse to mis-behave. I say don’t lower the expectations for children with disabilities or they will become self fulfilling prophecies. With that said, there is also a fine line to determine if the behavior is a manifestation of the disability. Does the child become overstimulated in a large noisy room? Did they throw their books on the floor because reading is a struggle? Lastly, people should be aware of saying, Oh, Johnny behaves that way cause he has ADHD. Don’t give the kid an excuse! Prime example, there was a kid at my son’s camp who was thowing rocks at kid’s. Then he used the excuse he did it cause he has ADHD. My son walked up to him and said, I have ADHD too but I am not throwing rocks at people. 🙂

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