Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Teaching Klutz

Some people are natural born teachers.  Some people have to learn the skills.  Others should just plain not bother.  I suppose that is true for any endeavor in life.


I had to learn and it took me a while to come into my own as a teacher.  Mostly, I was just too naïve for the profession, especially early on.

I do remember this incident from early in my career, though, when I thought I really had it down.

I was a high school special education teacher in a small school.  I had a motley band of little Calvins to guide.  I was also one of those peripatetic types, always walking around.  Well, you kind of had to be with this particular group.  A little distance was a lot of leeway for those kids.

So one day, we were (if I recall correctly) doing a review for a history test that they would be taking in a day or two.  I had a study guide and I was really into it.  Also, I noticed that I seemed to have the rapt attention of the students.  Wow, their eyes were following me every step of the way.  I had them enthralled with a history review.  I was in the teaching zone!

Of course, that is when I backed into an empty one of those desk-chair combinations.  Smack...and down I went.

In a sad, sad moment, I realized full well that they had no interest in my history review whatsoever.
They had had a pool going as to when I would trip over something and hit the floor.

21 comments:

Tabor said...

Do you think that some of it was absorbed because they had to pay attention???

Muffie said...

This is too funny! I hope you had enough chutzpa to say, "Just wanted to be sure you were paying attention!" I had a lot of those instances -- it's definitely part of the teaching experience!
Peace,
Muff

Eileen said...

Oh my, I hope nothing more than your pride was hurt. Did someone place the desk in your way?

When I was in high school, one of our substitute teachers (who happened to a family friend) was walking down the hallway with the back of her skirt tucked into her pantyhose. Since I knew her well, I was the one to tell her. I don't know who was more embarrassed, though why I felt embarrassed is beyond me now.

Arkansas Patti said...

I'm with Tabor, you really did keep their attention.

Linda said...

That is funny. I'm pretty klutzy myself.

Margaret said...

That is pretty funny. Even without knowing it you were helping them with their math skills.

Sextant said...

It was probably a plot, one of those things that kids can cook up with their subconscious. We will all stare at her intently and guide her into a desk with our cute little hypnotic eyes.

Linda Reeder said...

Reality bites! Oh that we could have been as wonderful as we thought we were or hoped to be in those early days.
Teaching is a tough business.

Granny Annie said...

I cannot apologize to my math teacher so I will apologize to you in his place instead. The boys in the back of the room were throwing nails on the wooden floor next to you (him) and the nails WERE NOT falling out of the ceiling as you (he) decided they were. Sorry you (he) left to go report this to maintenance while the entire class erupted in laughter.

Olga said...

My guess is no!

Olga said...

A sense of humor is essential in teaching--as in life.

Olga said...

It wasn't planted--they were not that mean.

It is somehow awkward to tell others that they are embarrassing themselves.

Olga said...

...which they then took straight to the track?

Olga said...

Ha! I would certainly believe that.

Olga said...

OMG. You could not pay me enough to be a substitute teacher.

gigihawaii said...

My goodness, those kids must have had a good time watching you. I remember my fifth grade teacher bending forward to reach for something, and all the boys started chuckling while looking at her boobs which showed in her low cut blouse!

Muffy's Marks said...

Brats!!! Too funny!!

June said...

I'm glad I left college and never taught.

Kc W said...

I used to think I wanted to be a teacher -- I am not so sure anymore!

Olga said...

Oh, yeah, you learn quickly to wear turtle necks and baggy jumpers.

Kay said...

I sure hope you weren't hurt. I remember my first year of teaching in Illinois. The principal gave me two of the worst kids from kindergarten. After six weeks I told him I might have to resign from teaching in the district because it was beyond my abilities. He said to look at the barometer because it was an indication of the craziness of the kids and that I needed to stick it out.

The following year was much easier and 18 years later I was sure glad I stayed because my years of teaching are very precious memories today. I can already tell what a compassionate, fun teacher you were, Olga. Those students were lucky to have you.