Phone Lies

phone lies

Have you ever asked a student if she has a phone and she looks directly at you with innocent eyes and lies to you? Fortunately, at this age, most of these kids aren’t very good liars. If you’re going to lie, just pick one lie and stick with it…

Grow Up

mad dog

I guess comics are like jokes in that if you don’t “get it,” you lose the humor when it is explained. Whenever my husband doesn’t immediately “get it,” I write out an explanation in case others are confused, too. Here’s what’s supposed to be happening in today’s comic: The teacher in purple has taken a student into the hallway to discuss his “mad-dogging” in class. (“Mad-dogging” is staring aggressively at others to intimidate them or instigate a¬†fight. It is a blatant show of disrespect¬†meant to humiliate the other person.)¬†She explains, “You’re growing up now. Adults don’t ‘mad-dog.'” As she is speaking to the student, another teacher (whom she obviously doesn’t care for) passes by and stares at her and the student. The teacher in purple confronts the one in red and asks, “What do you think you’re looking at?” and the other teacher challenges her by saying, “Not much.”

I wanted to illustrate the power we have as teachers of living as role models. If we tell students that adults don’t do certain things, then we should show them that adults don’t do those things. Students often ask me if teachers all like each other and I say, “HECK NO! But we must work together so even though we don’t always like each other, we do show respect for one another.”

You’re Stuck Here!

can i go

I offer my students a generous two emergency passes per year, one per semester. Any more than two passes is an invitation to the dark side of all manner of evil. Some teachers don’t let their students leave at all. I remind students of this when they complain about my policy.

Acceptable Behavior in a Meeting

meeting behavior

What would happen if teachers started to behave like students? Imagine what a meeting would look like if you started acting the way the student acted in class. We should start doing this to demonstrate why the behavior is unacceptable. There shouldn’t be any negative consequences, right?

21st Century Skills

cell phones

I hope the new emphasis on 21st century skills (cell phones, smart phones) doesn’t completely eliminate the need for 20th century skills like paying attention, listening, and doing work.

My Son is a Very Good Kid!

my son has never been in trouble

Ah, parents. They live in an insulated world of fluffy fantasy, like Candyland. I imagine pink puffy cotton candy floating in front of their eyes, blinding them from the reality of who their children really are.

I’m a parent, too. I remember the night my child called me into her room the fifteenth time and I made the connection: she was only four years old and manipulating me!

“Do you think she might actually be trying to avoid going to sleep?” I asked my husband.

“Well, DUH,” he replied.

So, sometimes our view of who our children are does not always overlap with reality. Teachers are parents’ greatest allies. We know so much about their children…who their friends are, who they’re dating, how they break rules and lie about it to cover it up, how they cheat, what they really think about their parents, how they feel about their families, what they did over the weekend (what they¬†told me¬†they did, what they told their friends they did, and what their private confiscated notes indicated they really did), and what their goals, interests, and aspirations are. I just wish that sometimes parents would work with me instead of against me so that we can both help their child to become the best person possible. How can they help their children if they don’t even know who they are, or believe me when I tell them what the child needs?

I Went to College for THIS?

went to college

Sometimes, we have lofty aspirations when we attend college. We may believe we can change the world through the power of education. We may think that we can remedy injustice by promoting equality and fairness.  We may even believe that we can be a source of light in a world of darkness.

However, one of the many ways that teaching slowly wears down idealism is the inconsiderate kids and how they will often throw their trash right on the floor. My pet peeve is that they are not permitted to eat in my class and then they sneak their candy and toss the wrappers right by their desks.

Another thing they eat in class is Hot Cheetos, which have a fluorescent red powder that remains on their fingers. They often drop these snacks or wrappers on the floor and then when you ask if it’s theirs, they hold up their red hands and say, “No, they’re not mine!” They were caught red-handed and still deny it!

Still, I recommend teaching. Go get your degree. But just be mindful that there are some challenges. Some days are just better than others.