Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Love Smart People

This week is Parent-Teacher Conferences week. This week brings with it many small joys such as The Joy Of Plastering A Smile On My Face For Three Hours As I Tell You That Your Child Is Consistently Showing Little To No Effort, or The Joy of Watching You Refuse to Discipline Your Child in Productive Ways and finally, The Joy of Acting Like It Doesn't Piss Me Off When You Answer Your Cell Phone In the Middle Of Our Conference While Other Parents Wait in the Hall.

So much joy...I almost don't know how to contain myself. Yet somehow I manage.

And then, the most unexpected and lovely Joy walked into my classroom and it's official. I have a Teacher Crush.

Just to clarify - a Teacher Crush is not like a I Think You're Hot, no, no. It's much more nerdy than that. (Besides, I have a fabulously gorgeous husband who is the love of my life...I need not look any further in that department). It's more like a crush on someone who is just so damn brilliant and good at their job. This inspirational teacher who just has this way of looking at things that you want to emulate. This person doesn't even really need to be a man, just someone fabulous.

Teaching in an elementary school can just be sad sometimes. It's really just a building brimming with women. Women and thanklessness.

And it's like a ray of sunshine when in walks your Crush, full of praise, and great constructive ideas.

My needy little dialogue went something like this:

Me: "Hi, how are you?? Thanks for coming in today."
Him: "I loved your mini-lesson. It was short and to the point and really got them started."
Me: (big, goofy smile)
Him: "And the children seem really engaged."
Me: (bigger, goofier smile)
Him: "I really like how independent the children seem in the room. It's a great space."

And like my big fat cat who just stares up at me, allowing me to pet her, I stared at my Teacher Crush with wide eyes soaking in all the praise.

How sad am I? Think we need a little more encouragement? Or positive reinforcement? Kids aren't the only ones who need a sticker every once in awhile.


17 (really 15) more years said...

Are you sure you don't work in my school?

Seriously- none of our parents are smart enough to make such astute remarks. Most of them barely got out of 8th grade themselves, which officially means that their kids are brighter than they are.

PTC this afternoon (we did the evening 3 weeks ago, if that makes any sense to you- it still doesn't to me). I'll post if anything unforeseen happen (last time, they had to post security outside my door).

~ L said...

Everywhere I have subbed there only seems to be that ONE token guy at the school. There should be more men in education...and not just in admin or at the universities.

Cathy said...

makes us all feel good when we actually get some praise for our efforts rather than just abuse!

our school used to have about 6 male staff members (which was high compared to many other primary schools) we have 2 - the principal and another teacher... it makes a difference having males around...

Anonymous said...

male elementary teachers are creepy

Anonymous said...

I got told today by my hopefully future boss, "I know you're good at what you do; I remember when you taught my oldest son." I barely managed to get out a "thank you" in reply because I was giggling and grinning so big.

Yeah, positive reinforcement definitely works for us, too.

Anonymous said...

Hug that teacher crush! Sexual harrasment charges, be damned. Hug that teacher crush and thank him for all of us!

The other teacher at my grade happens to be one of the greatest teachers I've ever met, and (unlike me) he's new to the profession. He left a lucrative career as an attorney to be an elementary school teacher. He is fantastic and I rue the day one of us changes grade levels.

Anonymous said...

I have some experience with male elementary teachers. One was a people molester that never got caught. He is retired now. He once grabbed my breasts to see how they felt. This was back before harassment. Another was a prison guard before he became a teacher. He was mean and I am not sure that he ever really liked kids or teaching.
The last one was fabulous. He belonged in elementary education. He loved kids, he loved teaching, and most important of all, he was totally normal in every way. It was very nice having him around.
Mystery Teacher

MadMad said...

Our conferences are kind of funny - everyone is in the cafeteria (each teacher gets half a table) and you get ten minutes. That's it. Then the principal comes on the mike and says NEXT and we all use the "exit" door while the NEXT people rush in to grab their seats and not waste a bit of their 10 minutes. (None of that has anything to do with what you said - I just thought it was funny because we would never be able to take a phone call in the middle of one of our conferences!)

Jen said...

You are great! Did you know that you are featured in the latest copy of Instructor? That's how I found out about you.

JJ and EJ said...

I just found your blog through the new Instructor magazine. What a fun and clever blog. Thanks for sharing! It's always fun to share stories and VENT!

Blair said...

after sitting in a parent/teacher conference for 30 minutes (which is all the time i scheduled until the next one) i had a parent call his wife and ask me to tell her what we talked about. WTF???

as for the crush thing... totally get it. we want the positive reinforcement just as much as our little ones do and when we get it from someone we respect so much... it almost makes the "charity work," aka teaching for little to no pay, worth it!

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Wow! You got some genuine positive reinforcement. Treasure it. Think about it when your admin trolls are dragging you down.

I once heard that doing a good job in education was like wetting your pants in a dark get a nice warm feeling, but usually nobody notices.

Anyhoo, I'm happy for ya!

Hugh aka Repairman

Cathy said...

LOL @ hugh's quote!!!

edna lee - i too was a solicitor/attorney (albeit not for very long) before i became a teacher :) definitely worth the switch (not monetary wise, but satisfaction wise)

Anonymous said...


Who's Peeking?