The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I know you. and you. and even you.

When I was in high school, I figured I had already had about 50 different teachers, and I thought that was pretty cool. Now on the other end of the chalkboard, I find myself counting students. Your average teacher has somewhere between 100 and 175 students each year. In a 30-year career, that's a lot of people. It has some unexpected consequences.

You run into kids at the store. I normally enjoy that. Except when I'm trying to dash to the grocery store for a few quick items and I don't look me best. I run into a student in the produce aisle while I'm wearing socks, sandals, shorts, and an undershirt with a hole in one armpit. They want to introduce me to their parents, tell their brother what I great teacher I am. As they walk away they tell me they saw their reading teacher by the dairy section. Great. I'll head toward frozen foods.

How does a teacher name their own children? Even the best name conjures memories of slackers, skippers, attitudes, or vomitting. Each honor student shares his or her name with at least one d-hall of famer. It's tough.

Then there are people who remind you of your students. We're watching my wife's favorite reality show and one of the contestants is a dead-ringer for one of last year's last favorite students. The whining voice is a perfect match. The whining, the crying, the manipulation that are a vital part of any reality show bring flashbacks of trying to teach math against an onslaught of griping and eye rolling. My wife's favorite show. Dare I explain why I leave the room whenever it starts?




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