“Why lie to you now?”

Today I had lunch with three students who graduated last year. It was a great change of pace and cool to catch up with what they’re doing now. I found out about their new jobs, their newfound college stress levels and how their college English classes are treating them. We also reminisced about our first day of class together four years ago when they were in 10th grade.

I told them directly that their first day of 10th grade English scared me. They were intense young women and I hadn’t had students that were that direct on the first day (in my whole YEAR of teaching ;)). I distinctly remember this encounter that day:

                Me: “Don’t you know you should be nice on the first day?”

                Student: “Why lie to you now?”

Needless to say I let them know today that I was worried. I had just taken over the teaching position for their ninth grade teacher who they loved. (She left the teaching position. She left me her classroom, her files, her books on her bookshelf and prepared me for her students. Fun fact: we are also both white, brunettes with freckles.) I knew they were testing me, and I wasn’t so sure I was going to pass. Throughout the rest of that year I learned to appreciate their directness and love their classtime. They let me know today that during the period after our first encounter, they proclaimed me ‘cool’. I didn’t let them call me the past teacher name and I gave it right back to them when they threw nonsense at me (I don’t remember that part, I remember wanting to cry my way back to my old school.). It was a great lunch that helped me see a whole new perspective on events in my classroom.  



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7 Responses to “Why lie to you now?”

  1. newtreemom says:

    My friends and I had a new teacher for English our junior year. We found out the next year when we had his drama class that he would go home and tell his wife tales of the “Einstein sisters,” bemoaning the fact that no matter how hard he tried to make a test, one or more of us always got 100.

    The first years of teaching are tough!

  2. Ellen Spears says:

    From the outside, I love that they were so direct. I know it isn’t as much fun on the inside when it is happening.

  3. Judy Curtiss says:

    What you learned in your first years of teaching, have made you a better teacher. It is great that you could meet with former students and hear their news. That in itself should make you feel that you accomplished a lot during that first year!

  4. jhaworthoy says:

    How wonderful that you were able to have a nice lunch and chat with your former students. They must have quite a respect for you…then and now. The first few years of teaching is just as much a learning experience for the teacher as it is for the student. You learned well!!! Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  5. gillis says:

    It’s so interesting to get another perspective on things, isn’t it? Wow. What a treat. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Beth says:

    Glad you stayed!

  7. smashintwo says:

    I love getting together with old students…it gives perspective on them and their perceptions of me..watching them grow into young men and women is amazing…what a gift!

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