I've been a little nostalgic lately, and I keep thinking about these crazy clown shoes. I don't think I've talked about it much on my blog, but before I had my girls I was a teacher.
I know. It's crazy, huh? When I was in the teaching credential program, we were warned that it wasn't a good idea to use sarcasm with your students.
Um . . . what? I don't know if I can do that, I thought. Turns out, I couldn't. Sheesh. Big surprise. But seriously, it worked for me. I taught sixth grade and some of the kids got it, and some of them didn't. There were never any problems as a result. We had a lot of fun together and we even got some learnin' done. I was the Multiplication Nazi, let me tell you.
So the reason I've been nostalgic, is that I'm getting my ducks in a row to go back to the classroom. Annika will be in first grade next year, so the time is right for me. The thing is, I want to teach in the elementary school for awhile, while my girls are young. I love the younger kids, but honestly, all age groups have their own endearing qualities.
In the meantime, I'm reliving the good old days of the Potty Prancers. In my classroom, the Potty Prancers were big, plastic clown shoes, with POTTY PRANCERS written on the sides in thick, black Magic Marker. The deal was, if one of my sixth graders came to class and wanted to use the restroom, they had to wear the Potty Prancers in place of a hall pass. Since I taught in California, the hallways were outdoors, so any kid wearing the Potty Prancers would make a loud, echoing shuffle noise as they walked down the hall. Inevitably, this would cause students in other classes to turn their heads away from their teacher in order to watch my bladder challenged student making his way to the restroom. I say "his" because it was always the boys who were willing to wear the P.P. shoes. The girls would only wear them if it was a real emergency. This is on account of girls have more class and decorum. Well, at least in sixth grade. I'm almost positive that this holds true most of the time.
We had other teachers in our school that would make kids carry a toilet seat for their hall pass, and that was equally enjoyable to watch. Everyone was all "You're going to take a dump. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha." As if middle school wasn't bad enough. Seriously, it has to be the single most awkward, gawky and embarrassing time in every kid's life. Don't you think?
Personally, I'm embarrassed still for my middle school self. I have stories, but let's save some of them for another day, shall we?
The Potty Prancers were retired on my last day of teaching sixth grade. I threw them in the trash, and shortly after that I found three students fighting over them. Yes, they were all boys. I got a little tear in my eye though, because it was then that I realized that they enjoyed the entertainment provided by the P.P. shoes just as much as I did. Teaching is so rewarding.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself teaching sixth grade. The kids I taught are all adults now. Every now and then, one of them will find me on Facebook and it makes me feel so old. Then I get to feel proud when I see all the good things they're doing. But then, in a way, it's also kind of creepy to think of them doing adult things, when I think of them as kids still.
It's kind of like my own kids, I guess. They are under the impression that they are not allowed to get married until they're 25, they have a college degree, and they've started their careers. We've also negotiated living arrangements. They will live at home and we'll keep their husbands in the basement. And I get to keep their babies too. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it? Well, I guess that depends on who they marry.