Hmmm. After posting my first entry (My teeth are no longer paint stained, thank you), I checked out some other teacher blogs. Man, are they different from what I imagine mine to be. So then I looked deeper. Funny teacher blogs? Snarky teacher blogs? I can’t find much like this.
A lot out there seems very sweet, and full of interesting ideas for crafts and lesson plans. They use words like “golly” in their writing. I don’t say golly. I spend my time trying not to swear. So maybe I should start to say golly. Better than “Oh fuuu-uunky, uh, chickens. Yep. That’s what I meant to say. Funky chickens.”
The rest seem to be written from gritty, down in the trenches schools where teachers use pseudonuyms to protect themselves from being fired. They use imagery better suited to a war, and when I read them I hear inspirational music playing in the background.
Not that there’s anything wrong with those blogs! I think they’re great. I picked up a few new ideas from the first bunch (that I will probably never actually do because that’s how I am). The second bunch were also incredibly interesting. My best friend is one of the in the trenches teachers in NYC, and I have a ton of respect for those amazing educators.
But that’s not what I’m like. I don’t do neat crafts with left over crayons. My bulletin boards suck. I am afraid- genuinely afraid- of the laminator. I don’t teach in a difficult environment. I rarely have challenging students who need me to battle the powers that be on their behalf.
Here’s my situation. I teach in an upper-middle class suburban town. My particular school is a public school bit it’s unusual in a few ways. We don’t give grades, we use portfolios and tons of projects. I often dream about drowning in rubrics. We go by first names, all staff including the principal. The staff also dresses really casually. It’s an awesome environment, and I can’t see myself every wearing a pantsuit and being Ms. Teacherladyperson. This is my safe space!
I’m young. 26 to be exact, and the youngest staff member. I have quite a few visible tattoos. So imagine, please, a fourth grade classroom where the person in charge is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. That, plus the tattoos, plus the young age has made parents and new students confused about me from time to time. I had a new student this year who seemed pretty confused for the first day, and asked me several times, “Yeah but who is like, really the teacher?”
I occasionally wear a dress, but only when it’s too hot for jeans. I occasionally wear heels, but more often than not I take them off and forget about them until some little person goes clunking by wearing them and giggling gleefully. I call my students dude, man, and small friends. I once got stuck upside down on the monkey bars, yelling at my kids to go find an adult. A student once told me “Sometimes I think of you like a grownup, but it doesn’t last long.” I took it as a compliment.
I love my job. It makes me cry, it makes me lose sleep, it makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode with joy sometimes. But mostly it makes me laugh. Kids are hilarious! They say and do the craziest things. And that’s what I figure I’ll be writing about. Just so you know what you’re in for, here.