April 25, 2014 by readlisaread
Well, it happened…. but first some background.
When I first decided to become a teacher, I headed to Elementary School. And indeed, for many years, I worked in a K-6 setting (confession: grade 5’s are the coolest people). But, as time passed and the job changed and I grew complacent, I wanted a different challenge. Through a series of odd (mis)adventures, I found myself at Middle School, and, as it turned out, the Girlchild joined me there for her grade 7 year. I had never intended to teach teenagers, and had NEVER intended to be at the same school as my kids, but here I was, experiencing both.
Fast forward a few years, both kids and myself find ourselves at the (newly) amalgamated highschool. By this point, while I have never taught my own offspring, I have taught most of their friends. Fortunately, because I have mainly taught computers and other fun stuff, and also because I am pretty awesome, by and large, most kids like me (Confession #2: that might also be because I like most kids.)
This brings us to today’s Great Adventure in Teaching. I was at the “Big Campus” (usually I am at the satellite campus) screaming up to the last deadline for the yearbook. The first one of the newly amalgamated 8 to 12 school. A new role for me (yearbook adviser) and generally a sudden wave of stress to combat right at Income Tax and Report Card time — talk about your “perfect” storms….
And so and so and so….there I was, in the corner of the Photog Room where my Yearbook Station is set up, on hour 6 of Final Edits and Uploads in a program called “Indesign” that is well beyond any kind of publishing software that I have ever had to face. I had not even stopped for lunch, I was that focused on getting the pages done, and as the last class of the day filed in the room, I could see the finish line…. I had this on lock down….. I was aware of the kids coming in and being *particularly* noisy/excited (last class of a Friday…..understandable). Me and my laser focus don’t care, though… until….. “Mrs. Read! There is a fight!!”. In the 10 seconds since the regular classroom teacher left the room to run some information down for his report cards (you will recall, one of the arms of the storm….) two grade 12 boys, for reasons that shall remain a mystery always, suddenly, in the middle of photography class, stood up and squared off.
Well. Shit just got REAL Mrs. Read.
“HEY!” is the first thing out of my mouth “HEY!!” (for effect) “THAT’S ENOUGH!!! STOP!!!” and then I do EXACTLY what they tell us not to, I move in between them…. “That’s enough, boys! For heaven sakes, it’s just SCHOOL, relax!!” (To be honest, I don’t even know what that means, but it’s what I said.)
And… they relax… the one picks up his GLASSES from the floor… and then heads for the door (perfect choice). I am just about to catch my breath, almost about to think about what the hell to do next when, from the adjoining room, comes a CRASH of epic proportion.
Here is where the Gold happens. (I never did know what or why the commotion happened in the next room, but it was through the common door that I turned my head and saw a girl very embarrassed and very amused by the disaster she had just caused.) Her timing was impeccable.
I threw my hands in the air and said “OH COME ON!!!” and the magic happened… the tension broke, and the class started to laugh. “I’M JUST ONE WOMAN HERE!!!” more laughter “THEY DON’T EVEN LET ME DRINK ON THE JOB!!!” gales of laughter. Now, dear reader, you may think the last line went too far — I suppose it might have — and you might think that I shouldn’t have worried about alleviating tension, I should have instead followed protocol and sent for help and written the boys up and maintained decorum and all manner of other things that the Public Expects of Public School Teachers.
But here is the thing…. I didn’t see my own kids until much later in the day (after uploading the yearbook pages, and running errands and the minutia of life on a Friday night)… and the first thing the Girlchild says to me when she walks in the door is: “DID YOU BREAK UP A FIGHT AT SCHOOL TODAY! BECAUSE *friend’s name* TEXTED ME IN ENGLISH CLASS AND SAID “Your mom just broke up a fight! I’m dying!””. And she wanted all the details. And we laughed until my sides hurt. And she thought it was the best thing she’d heard today.
And that is the life of a Teacher Kid. Rules/Shmules. Protocol be damned. I got this one right.
Epilogue: As they were leaving the class at the end of the day, one of the Fighting Boys thanked me. Seriously. I am Gold.