I Have Arrived

A day or two ago, I was administering a test when I heard some girls making noise in the hallway, laughing and talking loudly -- probably having been sent out there for similar behavior.  I stepped outside and asked them to be quiet, as my students were taking a test.  They dropped their eyes and apologized.  I returned to my classroom and continued grading papers.

That's all.  But a little later that day, I got to thinking about the experience.  I didn't hesitate or deliberate for a moment; it was second nature to invoke my Teacher Power for the benefit of my students.  I wasn't mad, and I wasn't mean, but the girls in the hall obviously felt chastised. How many times during my grade school years was I similarly called out?  I'm sure there were many that even Kirsten doesn't remember.  I was smart and a smart-aleck -- oh, how often those two go hand in hand! -- and I loved to show off in subtle, underhanded ways.  I did my share of Hall Time, but I probably deserved more.  Even with this common ground, though, I don't feel bad for those kids. I remember what it was like, the sweet thrill of "getting away with" goofing off (no one really gets away with it; teachers just don't choose to discipline in every single case.)  They've had their fun; now I'll have mine.  And I won't lie -- it is fun being able to elicit that kind of reaction with just a few words and one click of your shoe on the tiled floor of the English hallway.

Somewhere in these last few years, I have actually become a Teacher.