I finished my third year teaching junior high Friday! Yay! And because we wouldn’t want the fun to stop there, I spent Saturday in a teaching seminar! Yay! (By “yay” I meant I was mostly daydreaming about margaritas and pool boys and the smell of BBQs) Alas.
The seminars are fun, if only to feel grown up when saying “oh, I’m off to a seminar.” I pack a lunch and click click away notes from the speaker. I make friends and try to stay awake and learn a few new things. So that’s all good.
Seminars also provide fantastic blogging material, due to people watching. I think it’s because I know they are all teachers, so technically we have a lot in common. I’ve heard doctors make the worst patients, and I think it’s also true that teachers make the worst students. And on this summer Saturday, we seemed bent on proving it.
For example…I ream my students when they arrive late to class.
Kid: “There was traffic!”
Miss Weight: “Oh, really? I live right by you and I managed to get here on time. There’s always traffic. I allow for it.”
Kid: “um….It was my mom’s fault!”
Miss Weight: “Oh, really? I’m friends with your mom. If I called her right now would she agree? You want me to give your mom a tardy slip?”
Miss Weight: “That’s what I thought. Throw away your Starbucks cup. You BEST bring me one if you’re coming in late. Amateur. Sit.”
Yet I arrived ten minutes late to the seminar. Granted they never start on time. Supposed to start at 8:15…we started at 8:45. And I was by no means the latest one. People kept walking in until 10am.
Besides the late people, there is always the girl who asks a million specific and self-related questions, totally slowing down the pace of the seminar, and you roll your eyes at your table partner.
There is always the person who thinks he/she is making some profound, political statement about bureaucracy and public school teaching, which makes everyone uncomfortable.
As a teacher, I also get pissy about kids writing notes during my lessons…yet I was giggling and texting a boy for 90% of the seminar.
I doodle all over EVERYTHING. Spirals, flowers, the right eye, bubble letters, highlighter stripes. I can’t keep still. I rock back and forth in my chair the entire time. I sit with my feet on the chair in front of me, on the table, under my butt, out in the aisle.
I fiddle with my backpack…pretending to apply lip gloss or search for a pen, when I’m really checking my phone.
As a teacher, I expect my students to be fully engaged in all group work and partner talk, even though I hated group work in school. And at these seminars, the speakers always make you do “real class activities” and do ice breakers and group project nonsense (not gonna lie, I like the coloring parts) and my group on Saturday spent most group time talking about nightmare students and parents, and only focused back on the assignments when the speaker came to our table. Because despite being in our late twenties and thirties, we still don’t want to get in trouble.
Most in my program and who teach in general are women. These seminars are packed with female. But God smiles on us, and sprinkles each Saturday with men too good-looking and altruistic to be true. There is always that moment when one immortal in, and you can see the eyebrows of the women raise, the jaws drop, the shifting in the seats. We turn and throw a “Who is that” to our table partners. These men always come late, so I try to keep an open seat. Last seminar I developed a hot crush on “Benjamin.” This seminar it was the lumberjack looking fellow teaching in inner Oakland I started calling “Luke Bryan.” He kept tucking his hair behind his ears and shyly catching my eye…probably because I could not stop staring at him.
At break and lunch time I found a patch of sunshine to eat leftover pizza. I set an alarm on my phone to wake up from a catnap. In the afternoon session, I learned how to make a stop motion video, and me and my handsome British partner Chris made a claymation video about an angry ladybug who eats the prettiest flowers.
In the end, I learned a few things, got signed off on my attendance, and was very tired, but somewhat inspired about this crazy thing I’m calling a teaching career. I’m spending this summer teaching special ed in a really poor, hard-to-place school. Most of the kids are on free breakfast, free lunch…it’s a far cry from what I’ve been doing. I’m kinda looking forward to the change.
Tired, but inspired. And nothing that a steady supply of coffee, frozen yogurt, wine, and beach views can’t see me through. :)