Yesterday I subbed in a second grade class, just for the morning because the teacher had a meeting. After being with cranky teenagers, this was a nice change.
Doors were kept locked at the school. A sad reminder of the tragedy in Connecticut that happened only a month ago.
While teaching I had a quiet moment reflecting on how lucky I was to have a job where I could see the future every time I worked when a resource teacher came into the classroom to collect a few students that she worked with for an hour every day. It took me a few minutes to realize that she was L’s preschool teacher.
She had to hire a sub for half the year, a position for which I applied for but did not get simply because time was of the essence. She did not have to time train someone; she hired another mother who had volunteered in her class the year before.
The preschool teacher was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer and had undergone months of chemotherapy.
It was great to see her again. She looked healthy and in her element, working with children.
Which brings me to a small downside of teaching. At twenty degrees in the morning, it is cold for us Sacramentoans so I have to button my lip when I see children that are not wearing a puffy jacket and/or a hat.
Back in the high school today, I asked a student to take off his hat. To which he replied, “What? I haven’t taken off my hat since first term?” (A hat with a brim for fashion, not one for comfort or religious reasons.)
I wanted to say, “Excuse me? Yeah. Take off your hat.”
But I didn’t. This class belonged to the student teacher and she did not require students to take off their hats.
It wasn’t so much the hat as it was the annoyance and noncompliance in the student’s voice. Had he explained to me politely I might have allowed him to keep it on.
On second thought, no. I would not have. There are many societal norms that people don’t observe anymore that I think is a reflection not on society but the way we see others. We shouldn’t burp loudly in public not because it is impolite but because it’s disgusting and humorless and no one wants to hear it. We shouldn’t hold the doors for others because society tells us to do so but because we as individuals are respectful and kind to others that it isn’t a big deal to take three seconds out of our lives to hold the door for a stranger.
A few minutes ago I shared a scholarship opportunity for Filipino/Filipino-American students to represent a local organization in a speech contest. After trying to convince a student to apply for this position, she said, “Okay. I’ll think about it, Auntie.”
She called me Auntie. On purpose.
Parenting. Her parents are doing it right.