Memories from Teaching
So I've had a couple of revelations recently about some of my experiences here. Now, it's not worth going into all the details for no other reason than it's just a scab that doesn't need picking at, but realizing some of the things that I have, has left me in this place where I feel a weight lifted off of me for the first time in a long time.
I feel like I could maybe take on the world again, and while I am very sad that things are coming to an end here, I am not sad that I don't have the same pressures I was slabbing on myself weighing down, and that weight lifted off me has allowed me to look back on some more moments that are honestly hilarious.
I teach at three different high schools in my city, and one of them is a very boy dominated school, student wise. I have a couple of classes where there are no girls in them at all, and those classes used to be the ones I dreaded because the boys would be out of control, but as of late, with a new co-teacher, I've been able to just have fun in the class and not worry about if they are going to hurt each other.
It's a class of 34 fifteen year old boys, some of who are live in the dorm together, so it gets crazy every once in a while, but you put that many teenage boys together, it's bound to happen. I think anyone who has worked with teenagers can see that coming. It's the nature of the beast, after all.
There are two things that have happened in the class that have become probably my most favorite memories.
The first one is this. The boys were hell bent on smack each other around (for no other reason than to do it, from what I could guess). They kept getting up and pushing each other out chairs or taking papers off of desks. It wasn't just one boy either, It was nearly the whole class who were taking turns bothering each other.
It was a distraction to say the least, and causes quite a bit of stopping in the activity of the class. I started to walk which ever one stood up back to his desk before he could do anything, but about 30 minutes into it, I stopped the class and drew their attention to the front.
"In America, I used to work in a Kindergarten class," I told them, with the help of my co-teacher translating. "Whenever a kid would behave bad, they would have to hold my hand."
I could see the visible confusion cross their faces.
"Next person to stand up has to hold my hand."
I was sweating bullets under my teacher's mask, because they are 15. This could either deter them or they could want to hold my hand. I knew I was taking a risk, but it was one that was worth taking as far as I was concerned.
But I stuck to my word, and the next boy who made an attempt to leave his seat was surprised that I held my hand out and told him he had to hold it. The entire class erupted into laughter, and he promptly sat himself down.
Only one boy wound up having to hold my hand, but that class shouted at anyone who misbehaved in my class that they had to hold my hand. So I guess my plan worked out for the best.
The other favorite memory I have is from another class full of boys. They had been passing gas relentlessly for weeks, and their teacher had taught them 'break wind', as a polite way to tell them to stop farting in class.
I had heard him say that phrase the week prior, so I generally knew that they had learned it, but I never imagined they would take to using the phrase of their own accord.
I walked into class, smile on my face and naive of what my beloved 15 year olds had in store for me. One loudly shouts, "Laura! I can break wind!"
Followed up by a very loud breaking of the wind.
I was so taken aback by this sudden outburst that I started to laugh uncontrollably. But my reaction caused another boy to shout that he could also break wind, in which he promptly showed his talent. I couldn't stop the laughter that kept escaping from me.
I knew I was encouraging the behavior, but despite the smell of the room steadily becoming more and more questionable, I couldn't stop giggling at the willingness of them to use a new English Phrase so successfully.
Eventually, my co-teacher and I got control of the class and we were able to complete our game, but I've got to admit, I will never not have a smile on my face whenever I hear the phrase 'break wind'.
Do you have any great memories from teaching?