Its possible that a lot of opinions people might have had about me teaching at a private Christian school have a sort of…validation. Its possible that my personality is a bit….wild for my current working environment. For example…
Back to school night was a few weeks ago. Easily one of the most nerve-wracking nights of my life. I agonized over what to wear. I have to make special considerations in the wardrobe area because I start insta-sweating when under any kind of stress. So pit-stains were a huge concern.
And then I had to figure out how to condense my year-long vision for my Latin classes, my autobiography, my philosophy of teaching, the new curriculum switch, and my grading policies, into five point five minutes, while facing a room full of parents, a lot of whom look a lot like their kids, which is cute. Some even sat where their kids sit, which was weird.
And of course each parent thinks that their child is the most important, most brilliant, most interesting in the room. And the parents are all terrifyingly interested in you and how, or if, you’re going to educate and positively influence and enhance their already wonderful wonder-child.
And they have to listen to ME, the super-charged-on-Redbull-and-claps-and-randomly-affects-a-Southern-accent-when-nervous-and-sweats-so-much-Rachel…
but that wasn’t even the bad part.
In my class, I have a pretty big focus on English derivatives from Latin root words, which is what the whole buzz about learning Latin or Greek is- that it will teach you all these root words that will give you out of this world high scores on your SAT tests. Which is true. Sixty percent of English is derived straight from Latin.
So anyway, that day I had been teaching my class the derivatives we get from the words “mater,” meaning “mother,” and “pater,” which means father.
They came up with the standards: maternal, maternity, matriarch, paternal, patron, etc.
Then I said “Do you guys want to learn the creepy words?!”
And the kids all said “YEEEEEESSSSS!!!”
And then, in a moment of total lack of judgment, I taught them the words “matricide” (killing one’s mother) and “patricide” (killing one’s father).
And I drew little stick figures, with little knives on top of the words, from the son to the King Father (it happened a lot in Ancient Roman times.)
And in a complete day-long lapse in judgment, I left it all on the board. For Back to School Night. For rooms full of parents. So they can see that I’m teaching their children words about children killing parents.
Equally as awkward was when one 8th grade parent asked me (in what I chose to interpret as a humorous and teasing voice…) why her daughter came home and told her that Miss Weight was teaching her how to flirt in Latin…because I had made up some skit about being stranded on a desert island, and needing a boat ride home, and a hot captain comes along, and he only speaks a modern Romance language based on Latin, and I would all be able to get home, because I had taught them the words for “sail” “pirate” “woman” and “sailor.”
that was another “ehehehehehhh…well…um…you see…” from Miss Weight.
I think I mostly survived the BTSN horrors…I’ve made it through the last few weeks since then, through several crazy parent emails, weird kids, kids that don’t really try that I can’t understand since I always loved school, kids with social skill problems, fire drills and earthquake drills and their backpacks with granola bars and Hi-C’s in them, rainy day procedure memos, learning how to make copies, gift-wrap fundraisers, and kids who are so competitive I’m worried we’ll start spilling blood during Vocabulary Bingo games. So BTSN is a longforgotten nightmare.
But now I have progress reports, Parent/Teacher Conferences, and oh yeah like seven more months of school left to get through. And I am worried about me. I’m concerned I don’t have a big enough filter on my mouth during school hours. Its possible I introduce slightly inappropriate vernacular or thoughts into the middle-schoolers’ lingo, such as “if anyone came to class without a pencil today I’m going to flick your forehead.” or “I’m going to crack your skulls if you ask me another question I’ve already answered this period.”
Silly, adorable, rotten kids.
Mostly adorable because I don’t have to go home to any of them. Because when 3:30pm on Friday comes I am throwing them in cars, saying “Go home! all of you! Teachers like weekends too!”
Anyway. I still really love it. I’m so lucky. I get to wake up and get dressed in teacher costumes and go hang out with kids and talk them into learning by bribing with lollipops and Chuck Norris jokes. And unlimited hugs! I get unlimited hugs. To get to look at those sweet, eager little faces all day. Just dying for some love. And to feel so full of love for them! Love to give away.
life is good.
love, miss weight