Blast from the Past

As a high school teacher it didn’t take me long long to realize that high school students say some pretty fantastic things. Funny, goofy, awkward, and so purely honest it’s often hard to hold back a chuckle or even a full bellied laugh. These comments are nuggets of gold that can turn a rough day around for me.

Like anyone would do with such a nugget I collect them. These days I jot them down on a scrap of paper and stick them in a pile in a desk drawer to save for when the time is right. However, when I was student teaching 4 years ago, seems like only a blink, I didn’t have my own desk. So these slips ended up stuffed in a pocket and then onto my desk in my college dorm room, and eventually into a box as I hastily packed after graduation.

3 years later I am in the midst of a move going through old boxes. I stumbled upon a mash of old faded paper scraps holding scribbled notes ready to be set free on the world. So, I present you with a handful of treasures from the mouths of students of the class of 2011, freshman at the time, many who will be moving into their own college dorm rooms over the next few weeks.

“I did my homework… I just forgot to write it down.”

“Chicken’s are birds?”

“You know the Hurricane Tracker, I’m like the cell tracker.”

“Ms. [Smith], I’m done! I also just threw up in my mouth for some reason.”

“He’s like real gangsta though”

“Mr. Reid, are you more afraid of Zombies or Vampires?”

Some I remember the context, others I don’t, most of the time it really doesn’t matter. (clearly zombies…fyi)


Turning Point

As a teacher during the months of July and August it seems all conversations start with, or touch upon, the question: “How’s your summer vacation?” This goes for almost everyone you come in contact: friends, colleagues and even Uncle Elwood at the family reunion.

My response is usually similar and has some go to words just for this conversation:



“Glad to have a break….”

“Chance to recharge my batteries…”

(I apologize to all those I’ve had this conversation with me and recognize my script)

However, having had many of these conversations over the summer and honestly feeling this way I realized the other day I had come to a turning point in my summer.

As I was carrying a box of textbooks (that I was far less productive with this summer than hoped, as usual) I realized as I placed the books in the back of my car that I had suddenly been overcome with a sense of excitement. Carrying those books, putting them in my car to bring to my classroom, thinking about starting a new year with my new groups of sophomores, juniors and seniors. I was excited for it.

It was a simple moment, but a refreshing revelation. I am ready. Ready with my new ideas and plans. Ready with my old materials organized and ready to go. Ready to start the school year.

I wonder; do other teachers experience this same feeling. A point when the batteries are ready for the next year and the excitement starts to builds. I hope so, or why do it.

Have you experienced  your summer turning point yet?