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Showing posts with label middle school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label middle school. Show all posts

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Silly Sunday: Back in Middle School

This week, I've had a schedule change. Instead of teaching full time at an elementary school, I'm now a traveling teacher with two days at the elementary school and three days in a middle school. It's been a wonderful change of pace, and I'm enjoying my time at the new school; however, walking down hormone filled halls reminds me of some funny situations from my past.

Years ago, an older teacher repeatedly called on a kid in the back of the room who held his hand up, but he refused to answer and would not put down his hand. Finally, after she became aggravated with the lone hand raiser, a child said, "Ms. R., that's the overhead projector."

It's a known fact that no matter how many balls are on the playground, the word is always used in the singular around middle schoolers. I'll never forget the day a sixth grade teacher told the boys to "hold their balls" because the bouncing was too loud. She should have asked them to hold their "ball" because every boy in the class immediately followed her directions in a most embarrassing way.

Then there's the story of the seventh grade teacher who stood at the doorway to her classroom, tapped each boy on the shoulder, and said, "Jacket off." It's no surprise that every tween boy put his coat on just so he could hear the teacher say, "Jacket off."

Gotta LOVE middle school!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lessons From the Playground

Back in the early seventies, I was another dumb kid just trying to fit in when I learned a powerful lesson on how to treat people. As a reward for all of our hard work, the school took us on a field trip to one of the best playgrounds in the world–Six Flags.

Being middle schoolers, we radiated cool as we weaved from ride to ride with a large group of boys and girls. All was wonderful until the lead nasty girl huddled us in a group and whispered, "Let's ditch Dan."

Well, okay. Gee, I had no mind of my own, so if she says we're going to do this, I went along with it. At her signal, all of us darted away from poor Dan.

Next, she chose a second victim, and a third. The group continually grew smaller as we ditched one kid after another. Being that this nasty girl was my good friend, it never dawned on me that eventually I would be the one ditched. They ditched me.

Alone and terrified, I shook in the middle of that huge amusement park. Strangers surrounded me as I wandered up and down the paths looking for one, just one familiar face. Why had I gone along with the pack earlier? Why hadn't I had the courage to speak up and say, "Stop! This is wrong" or  "No! I'm not ditching anyone." I'd never even thought about how cruel our stunt was, and if I hadn't gotten ditched myself, maybe I never would have. So I'm glad they left me. And as for my nasty friend... that was the END of that friendship.

Okay, I confess, she is a current Facebook friend; so, do I paste a link to this post in a private message to her? After that day, she didn't seem to understand why I didn't want to be her friend anymore. Would she understand as an adult? Has she ever thought of Six Flags since or is my horrible memory a faded smudge on her bridge. I have found the ability to forgive her, but I will NEVER forget. It was too painful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Keep Your Pants Dry --CONTROL #GBE2



Control
For wee-little tots control means keeping your pants dry all day long, holding your temper when someone grabs your Tinker Toys, and not throwing the dishes into the bin just because that's what we do every day. I didn't mean to upset anyone. I was following rules. We put the plastic dishes in the toy chest at the end of the day. How was I supposed to know the girls had "special" permission to set them up in the case? I went on auto pilot pulling the plates off the shelf and putting them away until the teacher yelled at me and made me sit in the corner because I'd lost "control." At least I didn't wet my pants.

A few years after that, I lost control when the zoo lady skipped me when it was time to pet the snake. Everyone else got to touch it accept me, so I did what any little kid does: I cried. The teacher brought me into the office to touch the snake and I even got to see its cage. Then I got scared and wet my pants. (Just kidding)

Skipping a lot of years, I entered middle school where I could never control my mouth. How does anyone expect twelve-year-olds not to talk? Of course the only time I really got in trouble for talking was the time when it wasn't exactly my fault. I was honestly trying to get my work done in study hall, but Julie insisted on talking to me. She said, "I think Miss Fillipone is a good teacher."

I gave her a simple, "Ya."

Next Miss Fillipone yelled at me for talking! I laughed. I shouldn't have laughed, but it was funny. I got in stay-after-school kind of trouble while Julie, who laughed too, went unnoticed. Though angry at the unfairness of it all, I kept control in front of the teacher's desk. Didn't defend myself, didn't argue with her, didn't even look her in the eyes. At least I didn't wet my pants.

That sort of control,  not telling someone what you really think of them, has gone MIA in my adult life. In fact, it's my biggest problem. I tend to lose control and state exactly what's on my mind. It's the sort of thing that has gotten me in trouble with authority figures and makes my kids' boyfriends and girlfriends fear me. Really, I'm not a scary person--just an overly honest one who will blurt out the truth when everyone else is trying to hide it . . . but at least I don't wet my pants . . . unless on a roller coaster.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lost and Found #GBE2

#3 = Lost and Found

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, perhaps in the year 15 BC (before children), my mind started to gradually slip away. It wasn't anything dramatic like space aliens ringing the doorbell and asking for brain samples, but rather a slow deterioration of sanity.

Maybe it started in middle school when the dorks teased me for wearing my sister's powder blue, handi-me-down gym uniform instead of the sexy red ones on sale at school. With the red garbs, one could  turn them around backwards and slide the zipper down low. Ms. "McFeel," the questionable PE teacher didn't seem to mind as long as we wore a PE uniform and took our showers after class. If not the uniforms, perhaps the brain drain came when I was brave stupid enough to get on stage in a flapper outfit and dance the Charleston with Steve Noonan in front of the laughing student body.

"What was everyone laughing at?" I later asked a friend.

"Your costumes," she said.

Yeah, right! I was almost naive enough to buy it. Junior High School definitely chipped a good 10% of mind out of my clueless head.

High school must have taken some more. Shortly after my sixteenth birthday, I got my driver's license and proudly drove into the car next to me in a snowy parking lot. Okay, I wasn't proud of hitting the car (multiple times when the honkers made me panic), but I was proud of the first time being alone in the car, until . . .

Being a mindless teen, I stuck a note about the size of a bobby pin on the damaged car's windshield wiper and crawled home to tell my dad. He took it well. In fact, he took it a lot better than the lady I hit. For the next year, my parents begged and pleaded me to take the car out alone, but by then about 20% of mind went missing, so no can do. I've only been in one other mild fender bender in over thirty years of driving daily, so maybe I found five percent between then and now.

College took more due to a little bit of drinking at parties. Alcohol has been scientifically proven to kill brain cells, so go ahead and remove the five percent I'd found plus 5% more and now I'm down to 75% sanity. Until my boyfriend said, "Will you marry me and live in Memphis?"

Marrying him was actually a fabulous idea, but I question my mental state when I said,"Yes to Memphis." If that ain't love, I don't know what is. Take away another 5% for moving to Memphis and becoming a teacher. A teacher? Did I say, "5%?" Better make that 5% for moving to Memphis and 25% for becoming a teacher. What am I down to now? 45%? Being able to do basic math means I have a little bit of mind left add 5%, but then I got pregnant. Three times. Three children.

Some comedian, can't remember who, once said we lose half of our minds with each child born. That would put me far into the negative category. Just because I scratched my head and hopped like a monkey to get my babies to smile does not mean I've lost my mind? I mean, doesn't everyone do that?

Since this challenge is called "Lost and Found," I must end with the story about how I got it all back. We put the baby on a bus this morning and sent her off to be a camp counselor for the summer. The middle one comes home in five days and stays for a few weeks, but come fall we will be official empty nesters. If that doesn't restore my mind, nothing will!



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