My name is Mrs. Oldham and I hear it twenty nine million, three hundred fifty four thousand, six hundred twenty one times a day.
Give or take.
I’m just going to put this out there: I am sick of it.
Sick to death of it.
And if you’ve read my blog for any significant amount of time, then you know I have last name envy and I’m not a fan of my last name to begin with. This is not offensive to Steve, either, and we often sit around and make up a new last name for ourselves the way other people daydream about baby names.
Call us weird. We are.
We recently met someone with the last name of Viole pronounced Vee – oh – lay and believe me, I tried it on for size. Just for fun. Shoulder shrug.
Anyway, I am sick of hearing my name ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, IN AND OUT, UP AND DOWN, BACK AND FORTH, any way you say it, I’m sick of it.
If a kid were to put the word – OKAY – in front of it, I would be just fine.
In fact, I’d be happier than a teacher on summer vacation. Or even Spring Break.
Because lately . . . in my particular class . . . when I ask a student to do something, more often than not, I get BUT or EXCEPT or WAIT.
The Wait word kills me more than the BUT.
That’s a hard no.
And I don’t want you to think I’m some hard disciplinarian who can’t be moved or swayed, and I run this super tight ship, and I have a brigade of soldiers standing at attention because clearly, I do NOT.
I do NOT because my kids keep saying BUT. And EXCEPT. And WAIT.
It’s been reminding me of THIS POST when one of my students pointed out to me that they’re “JUST KIDS” and acted as if I was the crazy lady on channel eighty when I asked a student to hand me a teeny tiny piece of paper and not only did the student not hand it over, but he moved to put it in his pocket. If you haven’t read it, you should because it’s true, funny, and shocking.
All I need, and what I feel is even APPROPRIATE is . . .
“Okay, Mrs. Oldham.”
I mean, HOW HARD IS IT?!
This week, our topic for Show and Tell (Sharing) was A Collection of 120 Things in honor of our 120th Day of School.
We saw collections of Uno cards, dimes, rocks, popcorn kernels, legos, etc. It’s been ALL good.
One day this week, one of my kids brought a baggie of cereal pieces. Let’s call them Cheerios just for the sake of ease.
So this student presented their baggie of cereal in front of the class, and then went back to their carpet spot to listen to the other kids sharing about their collections.
But not really.
Because Cereal Kid proceeded to shake and rattle and roll their baggie of cereal as if they were in the symphony and being paid to play the strings or the woodwinds or the cymbals or ANYTHING RESEMBLING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT THAT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHATSOEVER BECAUSE I WAS NOT IN BAND OR ORCHESTRA, I WAS IN CHOIR.
I *think* I ignored the shaking and rattling of the cereal in the beginning.
I don’t know.
I’m being honest. I DON’T KNOW, I said.
And then I’m pretty sure, almost 200% positively sure, that I gave THE LOOK.
You know the one. The one that now makes me long for Botox.
I gave THE LOOK because I didn’t want to interrupt the student who was currently sharing and, also, THE LOOK works most of the time on most students.
Cereal Kid saw the look, and stopped shaking his/her baggie, so I looked back towards the kid currently presenting.
And, just so you know, when a kid “presents”, it only takes about a minute or so which means all of this happened very quickly.
As soon as I looked away, do you know what happened?
Of course you do. You’re a teacher.
SHAKE RATTLE ROLL NOISE NOISE SHAKE RATTLE ROLL NOISE
I’m sure my face made an expression because that’s what my face does because I do not, in fact, have Botox, and so when I looked back to Cereal Kid to actually SAY SOMETHING . . .
The kid sitting in front of him/her . . . who happens to be a Teacher’s Kid . . . who happens to be the kid of a very good friend of mine . . . who happens to be a Teacher’s Kid of both a mom who teaches AND a dad who teaches . . . well . . .
Let’s just say, he had my back.
He might as well have been my co-teacher, or my student teacher, or my clone because he reached back, grabbed that baggie out of her hands lickety-split (Cereal Kid never saw it coming), and put it up on the counter next to him (his carpet spot is right next to our writing center) in one fell swoop.
I mean, it’s exactly what I wanted to do had I been closer.
I want to say I would have been a tad bit gentler, but I don’t know. Just saying.
Reaches back, grabs the baggie, and puts it up on the counter. All with the look of someone who was just as annoyed as me, just as offended for the person currently sharing, and just as shocked at the disrespect as I was.
I wanted to DIE LAUGHING.
I wish you could have seen it in person.
Trust me. I know it wasn’t his business, I know I say TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF twenty two thousand times a day, I know he’s not the boss of her, but I wanted to stand up and applaud.
Oh, I wanted to laugh so hard.
Cereal Kid was NOT amused, though.
He/She grabbed that baggie back SO FAST and proceeded to whisper fiercely that it wasn’t his and for him to STOP and on and on it went.
Which means I did have to step in and say Teacher’s Kid, please take care of yourself, and Cereal Kid, I need you to go put your baggie at your desk.
Teacher’s Kid nodded. I could tell he kind of felt bad, but also very much like WHY CAN’T EVERYONE JUST DO THE RIGHT THING? And WHEN I AM FINALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO TEACH THIS CLASS BECAUSE I’LL GET THEM UNDER CONTROL, MRS. OLDHAM, DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT A THING.
Guess what Cereal Kid did?
Cereal Kid did not get up and go put their baggie away.
Cereal Kid said Wait.
Cereal Kid said But.
Cereal Kid said Except.
LIKE WHAT IS GOING ON?! WHERE AM I?!
WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY
So once again, we practiced saying OKAY, MRS. OLDHAM.
Because sometimes, that’s all it takes.
Just a simple OKAY, MRS. OLDHAM.
And I used the same analogy that I did IN THIS POST and asked my kids what they think I say when my principal asks me to do something. Do they think I say BUT WAIT EXCEPT or do they think I say OKAY, MRS. PRINCIPAL.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who is experiencing this.
Please say OKAY, MRS. OLDHAM.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
Omg. This is MY LIFE. Giving “the look” to kids who just stare curiously back at me while continuing the behavior, I guess wondering why I’m staring at them….one little girl who ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS is listening, obeying, reminding the others what I want them to do (which I’m sure they love 😁)…feeling like I must sound like the teacher in Peanuts every. second. of. the. day. I feel ya, girl! It’s rough out there! I do truly love my class because they are actually very sweet and VERY funny, but man, they are HARD. TO. MANAGE.