Friday, July 21, 2006

On Why I Probably Teach Middle School

I never really followed social norms when I was younger – it got me nowhere socially. Even my nerdy best friend (who was the equivalent of a white Steve Erqual) turned on me my eighth grade year – I was small and instantly meaningless to him and his large-far-sighted eyes. I definitely wasn’t as cool as the dandruff that snowed from his scalp to the shoulders of the black turtlenecks he wore.

Oh, I know everyone is a mess of DNA and social factors in middle school – but when your best friend, the class nerd, begins making fun of you too…something is definitely amiss.

Yes, I’m still dealing with these issues. I was made fun of, which can be devastating at the awkward age of 11, 12 and 13. If I sat down and worked out all the demons, I’m sure it would answer the question why I prefer teaching middle school students over high school students.

I get to relive the years I lost.

Last school year, I out-belched a student. Lucky enough we were just playing a quick game of Mad Libs, warming up the creative sides of their brains, and while they thought of nouns and adjectives they could give me, out crept a belch.

Not mine.

I stopped class like any teacher would. I said it was uncalled for. Then, there erupted another belch, this time much louder, from the student with a blue cast on his arm. They thought they were just too funny. Those little munchkins and their acid stomachs were ahahahing away, and while I passed out papers for the next in-class activity I had swallowed enough air and belched loud enough for the classrooms next to me to hear.

Who does that?

Well, the answer is easy. Me.

I never followed those social norms as a child, and I still don’t – not even as an adult, which some people may question. “How are you respected as a teacher?”

Well, observation notes about me say that I am a kid-magnet and I’m not just saying that because I’m full of hot air, either.