Friday, May 22, 2009

Potty Prancers


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.

19 comments:

  1. AHHHH what a cool teacher you must have been, I bet those kids even those that don't keep in touch with you appreciate all that you did for them! Way better to have a fun teacher like that and make learning goofy than to be serious all the time...good for you and I hope that the transition back to work will be enjoyable for you and your family!

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  2. Teachers that use sarcasm get the best results... they are teaching a valuable lesson of not taking yourself so seriously! My dds teacher uses it very successfully!

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  3. I hope my daughter has cool teachers like you:-)

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  4. You sound way better than my sixth grade teacher! I hated him and continue to hate him to this day. He is now my Dad's boss (my Dad is a custodian now) and I still don't like this man.

    (there is a long story behind that, main point is he told me I was mouthy and that high school teachers wouldn't put up with it, and I'd fail high school. I was an A+ student all through school, including high school. Take that!)

    I agree on your rules. My oldest is not quite four (only a couple of more weeks!) and I'm pretty sure that she should live at home forever and never date....

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  5. Those potty shoes are the funniest thing ever! Thanks for making me laugh today. Hope you'll be able to keep up your blog still after you go back to teaching. Although I'm sure you'll have your hands full. Have a great day 8-)

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  6. oh my gosh, in high school our english teacher had this GIANT stuffed animal (you know the 4 ft kind you win at the fair) that was the bathroom pass. I NEVER used the bathroom during her class b/c just the thought of how many times that thing had touched the floor of the bathroom made me want to barf (and the fact that the thing was so huge it would touch your entire body while you carried it) bleh...gettin the heebeegeebee's just thinking about it..heh, thanks for the nostalgia

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  7. you had me at the title....I bet you were/are a good teacher!!

    suzanne

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  8. I am soooo keeping my kids' babies! HA!

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  9. From reading your blog I think you would have been a FABULOUS teacher! I LOVE the idea of potty prancers....that is really too FUNNY!

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  10. Wait! You're going back to work -- outside the home? This can't be! You'll get all wrapped up in teaching those kids and forget all about us here in the bloggy world. Please tell me it isn't so!!!!!

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  11. I am so excited for you to return to the classroom! Depending on how low of an elementary grade you want to work with, you won't even need those potty prancers, anyway, since they can't hold it long enough to even get them on. LOL If I had a dime for every "accident" I see...

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  12. I love the Potty Prancers! My cousin is a High School History Teacher in Upstate NY. For a hall pass, he made a life size cut out of himself looking rather serious. If a child wants to use the restroom - they have to carry a life size teacher with them.

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  13. wow, tha was a really entertaining blog. hahahahaha.

    And about the not marrying till theyre 25 for the girlies, well i remember you telling me and tasha that when we were little girls too now that i think about it, and somehow i still got married a bit before that age. lol. Be cautious, the girlies will want their independance before 25. but good luck with keeping them at home for as long as possible = )

    hey i have a question, how do you find friends blogs? i dont know how to search and find a blog that one of my friends has...

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  14. I love the potty prancers! So funny and such a great idea! I wish you all the best on your return to the classroom. I love your comment about your kids not getting married until they are 25, have a degree and a job...I tell my own kids that and my students too. :0)

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  15. Your blog is so FuN! Thanks for all of the fun recipes, tips and ideas!! I gave you an award...you can view it at: www.thecreativecrate.blogspot.com ~play along if you'd like!

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  16. Hahahaha! I can just see them walking down the outdoor "hallways" in those!

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  17. My boys have decided they are never getting married and will live at home forever. I'm not sure whether you or I have the better deal right now, although it's probably you since you get grandkids...although, my youngest has decided that the oldest girl has to get married and have kids so that there is someone to take care of him when he is old so he doesn't have to go to a nursing home.

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  18. I don't understand why going to the bathroom should be embarassing. Yes, it might discourage some kids getting excused just to goof off in the hall, but if they have to go to the bathroom it's not healthy to have them hold it and why make it an embarassing nightmare? Maybe I'm missing something?

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  19. I've seen the toilet seat passes but those potty prancers are way more clever and hilarious. I will have to pass that on to my newbie teacher friend.

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