As you're reading this, I'm likely sitting in a meeting, contemplating faking a broken leg just to get out of said meeting. Let's hope that unlike last year, I'm not sobbing in the parking lot. Because I don't want to be THAT girl.
Erin @ A Peach Livin' in the Everglades suggested that those of us who are teachers need to make a point to post our "precious moments" as the year goes on, and I think this is a great idea. After all, when you start to hit that mid-October slump, and then the mid-January slump, it's nice to have a little encouragement and humor.
When I was pregnant, I had a very rough group of 8th graders. This was good because I was done teaching mid-February, but it was bad because they were very nasty. If I disciplined them, it was not because they were acting badly, it was because I was pregnant and hormonal. (They were awful to all their teachers, but they found a way to make themselves blameless through my pregnancy.) Seriously, I had a student tell his mom that he failed SILENT Reading because I was pregnant and hormonal. Yes, I'm sorry my pregnancy hormones are like gamma rays preventing you from opening a book. They also thought it was okay to daily ask me how I would deal if my baby was born with no legs, blind, or (their favorite) with two sex organs. There was a day in January, when I was 8 months pregnant, that I just lost it with two girls, and read them the riot act about how some day, about ten years from now, they'd look back and realize how utterly cruel their jokes were. This ceased the baby comments, thankfully.
Basically, when I left on maternity leave, I was like, HAHA LATER KIDS DON'T COME BACK AND VISIT EVER!
Anyway, one day, the Science teacher on my team brought me a Science textbook, and showed me a page that said, "Draw a * if you think Mrs. C is a bitch!" While their general meanness about my pregnancy bothered me, things like that only made me laugh. You have to be relatively thick-skinned to teach 8th graders! I was a little disappointed because there were only five stars, so I drew a 6th star, then wrote: "From Mrs. C!:)"
Next hour, we were talking about stories, and I said something along the lines of, "Okay, draw a STAR on your paper if you liked this story. Ha, stars. Isn't that a funny way to rank something? Like if you didn't like someone, you could be all, Draw a star by this person's name. Isn't that funny, guys??"
The PRECIOUS MOMENT came from watching a few kids squirm and sneak sideways glances at each other. The even more precious moment came when they were huddled around the textbook in the science teacher's room, whispering about how they couldn't believe I gave myself a star. Sadly, a few days later, someone erased the star system, so I never got to see if I made it past six stars. What I've learned about 8th graders is that they often do/say things without thinking of the ramifications, so it's a good lesson to let them know that their actions are not without consequence.