Last Friday was the first day I've been absent this year, and I admit I was a little nervous. In the past, some of my classes have behaved really badly for their subs, with the end result that almost nobody wanted to sub in for my classes. Shoot, some days I didn't want to be there myself!

So last week, as I was planning for my (sorely-needed) day off, I decided not to tell my students that I was going to be absent. A little test for them, a pop quiz, if you will.

Fortunately, I had the meanest sub in our school, Mr. R, who is a former military man who doesn't take any crap from anybody. He's not really mean, he just enforces the rules. I LOVE HIM.

Anyway, when I got to school this morning, I spoke to Mr. R (he's there almost every day; everybody requests him because he's so good), and he had nothing but good things to say about my kids. The sole exception was one student who would act up if Jesus were the sub, so I don't count that.

I asked specifically: "What about my freshman? Were they all right?" and then sank back, like I was about to absorb a mighty punch.

"No, they were very good," Mr. R stated, and I heaved a giant sigh of relief and grinned at him, because he's not the kind of sub who uses euphemisms or covers up for misbehaving students. If Mr. R says they were good, that means they were PERFECT.

Well. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

I actually like my freshmen, both as students and as people.
Even though I hate teaching English, my class is pretty hard-working.
My theater class rises to each new challenge I give them--WITHOUT COMPLAINING.
My actors are memorizing their lines on time.
My third period class doesn't suck.
When I tell people to do things, they do it.
My kids behave beautifully for a sub.

It's like, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop (that's a saying, right?). Like, why is everything going so well this year? It's totally out of character.

Wait. I'm dying, aren't I? And nobody wants to tell me, so they're just going to be really really good for the last year of my life. That's gotta be it.

The only other explanation is that I am actually having a good year ... the year when my teaching and management skills and my kids' behavior and scholarship have collided with just the right amount of force to create this beautiful, functional relationship that we all enjoy.

Could it be? Have I finally reached the mountaintop? That place where I can look around my kingdom classroom and think, in the same voice Prince Adam uses when he transforms into He-Man, "I AM A TEEEEEEACHEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR!" and really, really mean it? Where I can pick up a phone with confidence and talk maturely (read: without crying) to a parent about his/her child? Is that was this feeling of accomplishment and pride is?

... or am I just dying?

1 comment:

Teacher said...

Thank you for this post. I am having a few rough weeks... and walking a tight "maybe I am not cut out for this" rope.


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