Yes, I CAN tell you what to do.

you cant tell me

Funny when students tell us what we can’t do when we are, in fact, doing it.

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The Half Hug

half hug

Many teachers have a hands-off policy where they never make any kind of physical contact with a student. They believe that if they maintain this policy that nobody will ever have reason to falsely accuse them of any kind of crime. I respect this policy, but it’s not my style. I like to wake up sleeping kids by patting their arms, to give high-fives to students who do well, and when they are overcome with grief or happiness, they might attempt to hug me.

The problem is that a hug is rather intimate, and can bring up awkward situations like the correct cheek distance, appropriate squeeze strength,  or the problem of chest-brushing. My solution is the half-hug. A half-hug is not an outright rejection of a child who comes to you with open arms. It’s less uncomfortable than a full hug. It has little connotation that can be misconstrued, and a back pat adds that universal sign of platonic affection* so that there are no mixed signals involved. It also leaves a free hand for self-defense or sipping coffee.

In today’s day and age, it’s prudent to take measures of precaution: never be alone in a room with a student with a closed door, never discuss a student’s physical appearance, and if faced with a hug, a half-hug is acceptable as long as it is executed correctly (see diagram), and in public.

* If you did not know, a hand patting your back during a hug signals absolutely no romantic interest. Take note, those of you who are single. If you are dating and the date ends with a hand patting your back, it’s best to move on.

Were You Talking to Me?

lecture lcture lecture 

Have you ever spent time reaching out to a student to show you care, and told him all about your life in hopes of teaching him some lesson through your mistakes that might help him in his own life, only to have him take out his earbuds indicating that he had not heard a word you said? Me, either. Boy, that would be embarrassing…

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.