Leaving is Easy

“Get out! We don’t do that in this room!”  

Sadly, you can imagine these words in any classroom in America.  

It’s a trope and real life all at once; the adult who checks out when things get tough.  The absent father, sure. Other times the absent mother.  Estranged brothers or awkward aunts and uncles abound.  Leaving is easy.  Just go.

I am not a psychologist and I don’t play one on TV or even in an advice column.  The inability to articulate or name our needs may cause us to push others away.  Self-sabotage.  “Just…go.”  Leaving is easy.  

This has happened every year inside my classroom.  

I see the wheels turning in the student’s mind.  I can almost hear his voice: “This is going to be impossible.  Everyone will know I can’t do it.  They. Will. Know! My face feels hot.” 

Student behavior: “I ain’t doin this stupid work!”  Physically the student may move from their seat and act aggressively.  The student might distract others with jokes.  

“Just let me go!”  Because leaving is easy.  Easier than being exposed.  

Their expression and demeanor says: “Nobody notices me.  I had a question that never got answered.  No one ever tells me ‘Good Job!”

Student behavior: “I need outta here or I’m gonna blow!  I need to go see [other adult in the building].  You’re a [ inappropriate name].”  Other physical behaviors may follow.   

“JUST GO!”  Because it’s easier?

A student finds solace in these interventions only to find the return to the classroom brings more confusion; like starting a book at Chapter 8.  “What’s happening?”  This induces stress, furthering the cycle.  

“Should I go?” [Leaving would be easier]

As a practitioner, I am not nailing it in regards to the above but I know this:  The classroom community is the place where independence can happen.  It’s the place where trial and error can lead to understanding.  It’s the place where helpful classmates can cheer you on. This is where the learning happens.  And it doesn’t happen if you are out of class.

Leaving the room is not an option for very many things at all;  We have to work through it together.  “Can I go?” The student asks.  “I’d like you to stay.  Let’s figure this out.”

Photo by Henry & Co. on Pexels.com

Stating a Mission

I sometimes think mission statements are just an excuse to mash all the nice words together. Bromides. Platitudes.

Other times I think they are so general as to be meaningless.

When I was asked again to consider mission statements and drafted this, it did seem to fit my life. I’m trying it on. What do you think of mission statements? Do you have one?

13/30 Slice of Life

The Weekend

Laughter with old friends

Year of restrictions

Glimpses of the other side and glimpses of the past

Reminiscing, pizza, kids that are now taller, finding joy in their childhood games

These tweens go way back and that. is. special.

These adults have been through highs and lows. also. special.

It occurs to me that some of our best times are with old friends
At any given point in time, I can’t go find more “old friends”
Just the ones I have, whether on purpose or by accident
The older I get, the more I appreciate old friends

I wouldn’t mind making a few new friends
Because in another decade
They will be old friends too

Here’s to old friends!

The Thing About Blue Pants

I bought a pair of blue pants (not navy). They were on sale at the Gap. I’ve had them for a bit.

I think they are stylish (or were) and I do not mind drawing attention to myself. But they are blue (not navy).

So the thing about blue pants (not navy) is that, so I’m told, you can not wear them with most (any?) blue shirts.

The thing about blue pants (not navy) is that even though you only wore them for part of the day and they are not dirty, you can’t wear them the next day because they are blue (not navy) and well, you just can’t (no one even had to tell me this).

The thing about blue pants (not navy) is that I pause and think, even while I am writing this, about how long I’ve owned them. Is this an “old” color of blue that is making me look more outdated and middle aged than I’d prefer. By the way, I’d prefer not to look outdated, though I think I’m (mostly) fine with looking middle aged.

Khaki does not have these problem.


Day 6, Sol21

Thanks to TwoWriting Teachers for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge! https://twowritingteachers.org/ #SOL21

Worst. Interview. Ever.

I had been student teaching for 2 weeks. I was called for an interview. This one. I wanted this one. I had substitute taught in the district and just loved the kids there! It had proximity to my home!

I have a knack for bundling my bungled conversations. What I mean is, in public facing roles I’ve had I can have professionally excellent relationships and conversations with 20 people and one of those will be a mess. 19 interactions/relationships: aces. Then there is the one. Lost emails and mistakes in emails. Bungled verbage in a conversation. Calling the person by the wrong name…5 times…in one conversation. Once it starts, it snowballs and is awkward as heck.

This was the interview version of the above awkward bungling. The questions and conversation were stilted. I could not find my footing in my responses. The stone faced interviewer did not put me at ease. Had I said the wrong thing?

“Tell us how you would organize and prepare a novel study.”

“A novel study?”

“Yes.”

“Right. What age students ?”

“Any age.”

Laughing awkwardly, “Oh. Good. Huh. Well, I’ve read Charlotte’s web with some students. I mean, I think; If there’s a novel you are studying it, you want the students to be thinking and reading. And reading the novel. And there maybe some activities…[This is where I took an offramp to talk about something else entirely]…So yeah. We would study the book together.” I may have lilted my voice like it was a question. Then I added, “I’m not sure I answered your question.”

Smiling politely, “It’s fine.”

There were a couple more of these. I managed some comprehensible answers. Then the interview began to wrap up.

“To wrap things up, tell us why you think we should hire you.”

I. Was. Not. Prepared. Not for that. I should have been. But I wasn’t. So, I confidently began “Well, I don’t know. I guess…because I’m awesome?”

Yes I did. Great effort on the part of the interviewer to keep it professional. I proceeded to try to make things better with a follow up email that did not make things better. You know how sometimes people are just trying too hard?

I did not get the job.