NAH! I'm not old; I'm just wiser and more irritated by rhythmic clicking noises these days. Being a teacher teaches you patience and discipline; however, it doesn't make you any less of a person, and this person can't handle some of the crazy lately. Freshmen are my niche...they're my perfect age group, my personality's best complement, but sometimes I'd like to wring their necks as I'm laughing at their ridiculous antics. Below, you'll find a few things that could potentially cause Ms. Freeman's head to explode (or at least cause her to talk bad to ya). :)
Oh. My. Word. Pen clicking is something that seriously makes me want to jump atop a desk and scream a string of non-sensical obscenities. It ranks right up there with gum smacking and loud eating, and I just can't handle it. I did, however, have a funny incident two weeks ago with my goofy 3rd block freshmen class: the one pen clicker in the group organized a mass pen clicking after lunch, sort of a flash mob of annoying behavior. It was clever, and I laughed after the fact, but when I opened the door and 22 fourteen-year olds were clicking pens in both hands, I thought I'd made an accidental detour to hell. Those little boogers are intuitive, and they've learned my personality enough to know what can be funny and what can't. Nice move, froshy. Nice move.
You probably read this and have no idea to whom I'm referring. Well, over talkers are worse than interrupters: interrupters butt in and most of the time correct the faux pas by apologizing and waiting their turn; however, over talkers interrupt by talking over you until you stop talking to hear them out. I get excited and talk a blue streak, sometimes resulting in unintentional interruption, but I've never talked over a person (who is clearly addressing me or others) as a means of forcing myself to be heard. This is beyond rude and might as well be nails on a chalkboard as far as I'm concerned. Over talkers have thoughts and just start speaking without regard for those already in the act; these are people, in my opinion, who should practice LISTENING. The worst part is that I don't know any child over talkers: the couple culprits I know are adults. For shame.
Station Camp goers hear that old Ms. Freeman is a meanie with no heart who clearly rides her broom to school every day. She eats children as a snack, does a great "I don't care" face, and her raised eyebrow can melt you into the back of a chair. Some of that is true; however, she's not a meanie just because she doesn't grab a Kleenex at your latest version of "I didn't do my homework because..." story. People, life will not listen to your sob story and throw you a bone; life will not give you something for nothing; life will kick your behind and leave you waiting for an apology -- FOREVER. Learn the responsibility here because Ms. Freeman cares about you, not because she enjoys seeing your pathetic little faces and sticky tears when you realize #4 clearly states, "Late work will not be accepted" and she actually sticks to her guns. One day, you'll appreciate the tough love. One day, when you realize all those meanie teachers knew what they were talking about way back when.
Oh, yeah. You're all too familiar with people who think they're too good for stuff. It's infuriating to be around people who think rules don't apply to them or who think they're above "menial" activity. Pshh. The mindset that you're too good to do something is more a cover up for the fact that you're EXACTLY the person to do it. "This is stupid." "Why are we doing this?" "You're the only person who makes us work." Shut your face holes! A free dumb look and an eyebrow raise later, I'll be the first to say that I'm not too good for any activity. The things that seem beneath us are typically what make us stronger. Oh, you don't like wearing an ID? Well, no one asked if you like it; it's a rule, and you're no exception. You don't want to accompany your class to assembly? Well, it's our job to supervise the kids during school events, and those papers can wait. Kids and adults alike can be jerks about following rules and getting things done, and it gives the goody two shoes like me a bad wrap. Oh well. My momma taught me to do the right thing regardless of popularity, so I'll keep trudging on. Rule followers unite!
Ugh. Teenagers (and some adults) confuse school spirit with school bashing. What could be friendly competition turns into vandalism, hateful social media, and trash talk that fosters unfair assumptions about neighboring schools and organizations. "Gallatin is a ghetto school." "Beech kids do so many drugs." "I bet there are 30 pregnant girls in Portland because they don't have anything better to do there." "Station Camp thinks they're so entitled." "Hendersonville is just a bunch of rich snobs." Shut up. It's one thing to make the occasional crack but to foster such negativity that clearly constitutes sweeping generalizations about rival schools is just asinine. Every school has rich, poor, dumb, smart, drugs, fights, gangs, etc. To say that any one school in this county is primarily X,Y or Z just isn't a fair representation. Oh, and by the way, that "ghetto" school is where I got my incredible education; I frequently remind the kids that deep down there's a little green and gold floating around in my blood.
Well, this is probably the first of many installments that begs the question, "Am I getting old, or are these things really just annoying?" What things just fly all over you?