Current/Recent Reading List

26 July 2007

Celebrity Status

I remember one of the best discussions from the fast-forward certification program I attended five years ago centered on why teachers have to watch their behavior even outside of school. The main point of the discussion was that you could be seen by a student, student's family member, colleague, or county office worker at any time. Some in the program (these were all second or third career-switchers) balked at this: "Why should it matter how many beers I had at the bar on Saturday?", or "What difference does it make who I was seen with during the summer?", or "Who cares what I wear when I'm not teaching?" After a few minutes of griping, by one man in particular, the experienced teacher who was in charge of the discussion finally lowered the glasses on her face and said something to the effect of, "Sir, you are not living in Southern California."

I can vouch for the soundness of all this advice. On the few occasions I go to one of the major malls in Raleigh, it seems I inexplicably see someone from my former little-tiny school there (including my principal last December), even though it is 50 miles away. And now that I'll be teaching at a bigger school near my local community, this is bound to happen more. In fact, it has.

Six girls from my new school attended the June yearbook workshop with me. Two days later, I ran into the mother of one of them at a Chick-fil-A. I've seen another twice, as a waitress, at a local restaurant. Then, this morning I saw a former School #1 student at Lowe's Home Improvement, and this afternoon another of the six new girls comes walking into the same public swimming pool, 25 miles away, that I've been taking my son to occasionally this summer. I might as well just start expecting this every time out.

Of course, I behave myself in public, and mostly in private (wink, wink to Wyfe). But I have this irrational fear that one day a student is going to catch me lingering in front of the magazine section at the grocery store, gawking at a oh, let's say a cover featuring a scantily clad Jessica Biel (um... just to offer a completely random, hypothetical example, of course).

Watch your back, teachers.

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