life as a “teenage adult”

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I actually really like that phrase more than I let on.. It was given to me by one of my students. Yes, my students. The eighty-ish kids who have taken over my life for the past year and a half. That’s where I disappeared too, so you can very easily blame then. They would take that blame– they are far too possessive for their own good.

I have finally landed somewhere where I know I am making a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I know I was making a difference at the other schools, but here, I feel like I am with the kids I was destined to end with. My teaching career has had lots of ups and downs, but all in all, I honestly felt like it has led me to this school, and my kids.

I wake up everyday, albeit far more early than I would want to, with a smile on my face. Do I call them the worst all the time? Yes. But you know what else I tell them? That I love them. That they can be anything. That they can’t let society define them.

These kids give me purpose in life, and I’m more happy than I could ever be. For example, today, I found out that student who is more than smart and capable passed his STAAR tests. Now, now, I know what you are asking– if he’s smart can’t he pass the test? Well, somewhere, sometime, someone told him he couldn’t and he developed massive testing anxiety. I watched it unfold before me, and for two years, a fellow teacher and I have been working with him, trying to convince him that he was smart and that it was the test that was stupid.

Today I found out he passed, and I cried.

This has become a much more emotional post than I meant it to be. I just have a lot of emotions about these kids. I imagine its because its 2015 — new year and all that.

Anyways, I think the reason I like these kids so much, is because I see so much of myself and the people who I love in them. I see brothers, I see friends, I see parents. Which means I am blessed enough to teach a bunch of hot messes, just like me. So, we work pretty well together.

some updates:

I teach junior english this year– I moved up with my students from last year, so we have moved from “et tu brute'” to “leave me my name” and “damn these eggs and damn all the eggs that ever was.” Props to anyone who can tell me those plays. I love junior english. I love senior english more, but I really love being able to try and teach kids about america and what it means, bumps, and american dreams and all.

I am the drama director — which means I have more than enough outlets to channel my inner actress. I was born for the stage, and now I am happily creating a whole new crop of drama queens.

I have come to the point in my life where I am not hiding my age from them anymore. I am 26 years old. (uggggghhhhh vomit; so old) I mean I have kids who are still telling me that I look 18. I’ll take it. However, it will not get them any more points on their tests.

Finally, my classroom is still a mess. By that, I mean a very productive, cooperative, hot mess. Every day it’s a new story that makes no sense. For example, Today’s hot mess moment: I was falling over while walking, and I called out to one of my students to hold my bag for me while I fixed my shoe. He very kindly held my bag, and my arm as I tried to steady myself. However, he then reached into the top of my bag and pulled out a box of tampons and then immediately dropped them out of his hand.

student: Oh my god! These aren’t treats! I thought these were treats! (visible shudder)

me: this is why you aren’t supposed to go into a lady’s purse.

student: … I thought they were treats, I mean, I’m mature… like, I get it… but .. I thought they were treats…

me: you’ll be fine.

hot. mess.

I want to try to keep this going this year, but I can’t promise anything. I am just going to try and make an effort to write this stuff down, because real talk, the craziest stuff happens, and if I don’t write it down… I’ll never remember any of it.

until next time, i leave you with this parting thought.

THE CLUB IS NEVER GOING UP ON A TUESDAY… NEVER. EVER. THAT SONG IS THE WORST. NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES THESE DANG KIDS YELL IT WHEN THEY WALK INTO A ROOM.

if you are confused, here is that terrible song that haunts me every tuesday

the worst.

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