Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Private Eyes...They're Watching You!

Here is some background music for you to listen to as you read this blog entry:

There are a few things they neglect to tell you when you go to college to be a teacher:

1.  You will never urinate on a normal schedule again.  You'll be expected to hold it allllll daayyyy longggg.  Then, when you are not at work and dreaming of wearing a diaper, your bladder will continually scream at you "You can go to the bathroom!  Go!  Go!  Every 15 minutes!  Go!"

2.  You'll have to stand outdoors, dressed professionally.  Nothing puts a damper on a cute, expensive, professional outfit than standing on a boiling hot playground with sweat rolling down your back.  Also, if you're half albino like me and have to wear a hat every day, it really messes up your hair.

3.  You will never have privacy again.  Seriously.

When I was a kid, I had a teacher that I absolutely adored.  I will call her Super Teacher.  The idea that she was a real person was mind boggling.  Then, she got pregnant!  Then, she invited me to her church to watch her baby get dedicated.  I was on Cloud 9 with joy!  THEN, we started going to her church so I got to see Super Teacher all the time.  The best part was that I even got to go to her house and hold her baby.

I'm sure we all can recall moments where teachers did nice things for us, or we realized that they didn't live in the classroom.  Just a smile at the top of your paper, or a star, meant sheer bliss!

I became a teacher and was determined to make connections with my students just like Super Teacher did.  Naively, I gave my students my home address and phone number.  The address thing was good - who doesn't love to get mail?  The phone number?  BAD IDEA.  Kids would call me non-stop.  Little Davy must have called me 4,000 times.  He wanted to just hang out with me on the phone.

Later, I got Caller ID and stopped giving out my phone number.  This didn't stop parents from calling me, even when I was unlisted.  Parents will call you at home at night.  You'd think it would be for something important.  But most of the calls I got at home would be things like "Sadie lost a form that you sent her, can she have another one?"  And if you don't answer, they call over...and over...and over.

So, I stopped answering if they were parents or students.  Email came along and really revolutionized things.  People called less and emailed more.  This was a good solution for me.

But then, there's the whole privacy thing outside of phone lines.  What about the time that I had three students literally run after the car when I got in a car to go on a date, yelling "Ms. Non-Mommy, is that your boyfriend?"  Or the time on a date with another man when we entered a movie theater full of children I knew.  They all yelled hello at me, and kept turning around to look at us.

At church, parents come to talk to you about their child's grade card.  Or they'll want to pump you for information about another student's parents' divorce.

I used to have a child that would comment about my home constantly.  He'd say things like "I noticed that your TV was on late last night, what were you watching?"  "There was a red truck at your house, who was there?"  "Ms. Non-Mommy, did you know that your garage was open late last night?"

I've perfected the art of sneakily entering the wine section at the local grocery store, peeking around the corner to see if any kids were nearby, and then running to save my life.  I'm sure the security team at the store laughs at me every time.

The best part is when your students live near you.  They ring the doorbell constantly.  They play in your yard.  They look in the window.  They wave at you as you walk by your living room window.  They watch you mow the lawn and yell at you over the sound of the mower, even though you are clearly wearing an iPod.

But hey, at least if I were to ever go missing, I'd have tons of eyes watching my every move.  They'll tell the police where to find me!

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