Wednesday, May 02, 2012


I am perpetually amazed at the timing of my administration's visits.

Since moving last year to the classroom at the far reaches of the galaxy (second floor, back corner, behind a door, down a long hallway that leads only to my room), I do not get too many drop-ins.  Out of sight, out of mind.  It doesn't bother me usually since I really like the autonomy this administration gives its teachers.  It shows their trust in us.  I get a drop-in two, maybe three times a semester, far less than the teachers who have classrooms that face the main hallway or with open walls and definitely less than the infamous "drive-by shootings"at STMS.

Independence aside, however, there are plenty of days when I wish for a drop in because I am still and will always be that Honors student vying for the teacher's approval.  My Humanities class will be working all together in small groups wrapping IV tubes around desks and chairs and each other as they explore the physics of Roman aqueducts, or one of the shyest kids in the school will be standing up in front of the entire class performing an improvised speech while the whole class is looking on and smiling and encouraging her, or my drama class will all be sitting on the floor in a circle actively engaged in a discussion of examples of status in the school cafeteria and comparing the different school factions to the different levels of the court in Macbeth, and I'll think how great it would be if my principal dropped in right then because look!  Look at what a good teacher I am!

But he doesn't.  No, instead he walks into my room while I'm in the middle of describing the time a friend of mine was acting on stage and an enormous loogie flew out of his mouth towards his female counterpart and, according to him, time shifted into slow-motion and he caught the loogie with his hand and clapped it back into his mouth without loosing a beat of the scene.

On one hand, every student in my room was completely engrossed in what was going on.

On the other hand, loogie.  Giant in-the-hand loogie.

My principal stayed to the end of the story, chuckling at their reactions, then slipped out as I redirected the class to the activity of the day.  Part of me wanted to chase him down the hallway, to explain that it's all good - we had been talking about different rehearsal techniques and the loogie was the result of the giant wad of Junior Mints my friend found hidden in a couch during their strange traditional Candy Hunt Dress Rehearsal.  Plus, spitting!  Spitting = good articulation!  We were also talking about that!  I'm a good teacher, I swear!

I didn't.  He knows I'm a good teacher, and he's complimented me several times before on my ability to keep the whole class engaged.  "I never see students with their heads on their desks in your room," he tells me at my evaluations.  Yet Giant Minty Loogie stories don't usually make the list he emails to the staff of techniques to keep students engaged with your curriculum.

I let it go, marveling instead at his uncanny timing.  And when my beginning drama class is learning Air Broadsword choreography a few days later, I make sure we practice it outside on the field that his office window looks out over.

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