Since it is back to school time, I have been remembering some of the days when I taught school. I taught in public elementary schools for 8 years before having children of my own.
Every year, sure as shootin’, I could count on two things happening before the year was out.
- 1. Some kid would puke on or very near my personal space. This is when a friendly relationship with the school custodian would come in very handy. At times like these, it’s nice to know there wouldn’t be any lollygaggin’ around before he came with that precious “sawdust” to sprinkle on the, well…. you know.
And speaking of gagging, fortunately I have a high gag threshold, so I could manage to keep my composure until the arrival of the sawdust. (Unlike my husband, who is probably gagging right now reading this. Unless that whole low gag threshold thing has been an act low these many years in an attempt to make me clean up all the vomitrocious messes that come with having 6 children. Hmmm… we may never know. Oh well, as long as he guts the fish, I’ll be fine with cleaning up the occasional vomit.)
- 2. Secondly, and with a much higher entertainment value, at sometime during every school year, a student would try to fool me by signing his or her parent’s name on an important piece of classroom legislation. Like a note home saying, “Dear Mrs. McTwitchy, Your son, Rowdy, has been sneaking into the girls’ restroom. Again. Please, sign below to indicate that you have spoken to him about this. Again.”
Inevitably, some kid would get the brilliant idea that a 10 year old’s cursive handwriting can pass for a 35 year old’s signature. There would be the tell tale eraser marks and misspellings and then came the cover up when I would say, “Hmmm. This doesn’t look like your mom’s usual signature.”
The claim would be that it was dark or Mom was asleep or driving. I could crack even the toughest nut, though, and eventually the truth would come out.
One year, I had a bright, creative little girl who, without warning, began writing Jasmine Esmerelda Martinez on all her papers.
Her name was Barbara Stuart.
Once, she brought a cane to school and she didn’t even have a leg injury. She would twirl it around, ala Singing in the Rain, as we walked in a straight line down the hall. I guess she just needed a little pep in her step.
Barbara, I don’t know where you are now or what you are doing, but whatever it is, I know you are doing it with pizazz.