I’m sure my kindergarten teacher was not expecting to have this ball of fire in her room. I couldn’t sit still and definitely did not want any part of participating in “circle time”. My teacher was at her wits end when she had a conference with my mom. Lisa, my teacher asked, “Why wont you sit on the floor during circle time?” My response I said in my head, “I hate sitting on the cold floor especially when I have to wear these ridiculous dresses and tights mom makes me wear. Why should I sit on the cold floor when I am comfortable in my chair.” The words that come out, “I don’t know.”
First grade: I’m pretty sure I am the reason my 1st grade teacher retired. The school I attended had trailers for grades 1-3. One day I decided that I did not want to go back into the trailer so I convinced 2 other students to hide under the stairs with me and watch the next class come out and play. Bad idea. The next thing I know we hear all these whistles. Guess what, there was a search for 3 missing first graders. Oops. Mrs. Sanders, “Why did you do that?” My response as I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know.” My response to myself, ” I thought it would be fun and I was bored in that trailer.”
Second grade: I went to school during the days when putting gum on the students’ noses, tape on mouths, taking away chairs, and standing in the corner was a form of discipline. Well, if a photographer randomly took pictures of my class, there is a 99% chance that the photos would have me with gum on my nose, tape on my mouth, no chair, and standing in the corner. The only reason I say 99% and not 100% is to account for any absences.
Third grade – 6th grade: Sent off to a private school. I’m not ready to test the waters yet.
7th grade: Here I go again. Hibernation time was over. Consequences… come and get me! The irony was that the majority of my defiance was toward my math teacher. I say this because I am a math teacher. You know that saying, what goes around, comes around, well there is a lot of truth in that!!! I think I wrote about 20,000 lines of , I will not chew gum, I will not talk, I will not…, I will not…One time I taped 5 pens together so I could get my writing done quicker. The problem, my teacher did not appreciate my ingenuity and expected me to rewrite it. My response, “Not going to happen.” I spent the majority of my lunch recess standing facing the wall.
8th grade: The worst was still to come. I made the strictest teacher at my school cry. No, I mean it, the guy was literally crying. I can’t even write about all the terrible things I did, the list would be too long. I know I spent a good part of my 8th grade year in his detention room. He had this punishment where you would had to sit there and count the leaves on the tree. If your estimate wasn’t close to his, he would make you stay an extra 5 minutes. Well, it got to the point were I didn’t even have to count the leaves, I knew the answer.
I can remember all the terrible things I did and the harsh words that came out of my mouth, but the thing I can remember the most is hearing that same 8th grade teacher expressing his concern for me. How? I’m telling you, I gave this man the run for his money. I probably turned his dark hair to grey, but some how he kept trying to talk to me. He kept giving me consequences but followed that up with “a talk”. Of course to keep my “cool reputation”, I could never let him know that I was listening to him. I heard his words but I just didn’t let him know- at least at that time. I did return to my arch nemesis (or so I thought at that time) to express my deepest and sincerest apology.
Fast forward a few years and I do complete 175. I know its suppose to be a 180 but a girl still has to have a little fun! I graduated with honors for my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree. And no, my children have NOOOOO clue how I was as a student. I’m going to save that for when they graduate high school. The apples fell far away from the tree on this one, thanks to their dad.
I say to my fellow teachers and colleagues, keep up the good work because,”you may never know”. You may never know if you made a difference in the life of a child. It may take years to find out that answer or it may never come. I never had the opportunity to go back to the other teachers and apologize. I wish I had the chance to go back, but unfortunately they will never know.
So the next time you ask, “Why did you do that?” Be completely prepared to hear “I don’t know.” It is a legitimate response.