Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blessed Are the Teachers, for They are Covered in Snot.

Today I went to work with my Aunt Signe. (It’s sig-knee, btw.) She teaches grade one at a nearby elementary school. I was a little uptight because I haven’t spent a lot of time with small people and I’m cleaning it up when I say: it’s not at the top of my “to do” list. All I could picture were 18 sets of snotted-on, grubby, sticky hands reaching for me, a la Shaun of the Dead.

The day wasn’t so bad, and I have to say, I have all the more respect for teachers now. This doesn’t go for Uni profs – that’s (ideally) like communicating with other adults, and elementary school is like being immersed in an entirely different culture. This is a culture that has currency in phrases like: “He hit me first!” and, “My sister’s name starts with a ‘j’” and, “I had a cookie for a snack!” (What? Who asked if you did?)

I didn’t like them staring at me for seemingly no reason. Did they expect me to entertain them? Did they think I was going to teach them something? Were they wondering where I got my sweater?

Teaching public school was never on my list of possible careers, but I can put it firmly in the “no” pile now. I’m going to leave educating small, smoochy brains to others, and I’ll keep searching for fulfilling employment elsewhere. I always had a lot of respect for teachers (and nurses, btw), but now I appreciate it a little more.


Holly said...

After my lecture tonight, I can actually sympathize... And these were mostly grad students.

Rosey said...

I'm at the library and I just read your post to one of the students who works here. She's an education student, and she laughed really hard at your descriptions of elementary school.

Also, I think I understand the kid with the cookie. I still have days when a cookie is the best thing that happens and I want to tell someone. That's not to say that my days are bad -- it's more that I really like cookies.

Catherine said...

Pumpkin Cookies!
I want Pumpkin cookies!
Maybe I'll post the recipe!