Today, in my tiny smidge of free time between the endless gamut of classes I am taking this semester and my ardous job of working as a glorified receptionist (the official term is ‘front desk operations coordinator’, this is the label they slap on my job of handing rich, split ended housewives glasses of wine and answer the ceaselessly ringing phone), I found myself in a 14 (yes, I timed it by the text messages I recieved, 14) minute conversation with a white haired, 5’6 man named Marty, older than my grandpa and currently employed by walmart inc.
I was minding my own business, price comparing organic eggs when Marty swooped in and began charmingly chastising me for buying eggs instead of growing my own like he does (yeah, because I TOTALLY have time to raise chickens, I’m sure my three roomates would love to have some weird birds clucking around the house in addition to my obese chow-chow golden retriever Delilah….). From eggs, Marty went on to tell me about his first second and third wife, and his time in the military, and how he couldn’t stand being retired so he’s working and walmart, and if I knew a certain word for a concept that he couldn’t solidify with a definition, and on and on and on. This isnt the first time something like this has happened to me. In fact, it happens constantly. I know people everywhere; my roomates in Florida used to tease me that even though we lived in the most ghetto and unfriendly of towns I somehow managed to make ‘homies’ everywhere, and they claimed that I have a ‘face that makes people think I want to hear their life stories’. And its true, I do love hearing about peoples lives and dreams and I love meeting new people, but the problem with the Marty thing was this…. I had literally no time, I didn’t want to talk to him, I had about 600 things I had to buy and ended up only having enough time to get the eggs and some $1 dinosaur magnets that I bought on frustrated impulse by the front registers. And it makes me wonder this… If I can’t even put my foot down with a total stranger at a massive supermarket, how can I expect my students not to walk all over me? Will they, like little bloodhounds, be able to sense the fact that I don’t know how to say no when I want someone to like me?
In one of my education classes, I am shadowing a language arts teacher. I won’t say what school, I won’t say his name, but two weeks in and he has literally NO classroom control. None at all. The kids talk constantly, they walk around, they won’t do anything that he wants him to, and the most I’ve seen him do is say “Listen listen listen. Control yourselves.”
He said this, and then spent the rest of the period halfway joking with the kids and halfheartedly trying to quiet them. And the other thing…. This isn’t a burnt out, tenured teacher. This is his first year, his first two weeks, and its like he’s already given up. And it makes me wonder…will this be me? Surely, he’s had the same courses on classroom managment. What guarentee is there that I wont face this?
This post unfortunately doesn’t have any cool links, or pictures, or even a solution or answer to the question I just asked. This is just a post saying I’m afraid. Because every teacher wants to be the teacher that tells the kids to tear pages out of their textbooks, not the teacher that is bullied around by the tiny white haired Marty that lies dormant within every student. So, here is my other question- is anyone else afraid of this? Tell me I’m not the only one thinking about this as a potential problem?
Egg incident and then shadowing happened one after the other so this is fresh on my mind….