I am not going to even pretend I know how to do this. I know how to journal and start a short story. Don’t ask me to finish a novel or explain the blogging because I don’t know how to do those things… yet.
If someone asked me to explain my life and how I go about my days, I’d say I never do things in order and I don’t really have a rule book. Unless the rule book concerns wet towels. Wet towels MUST be hung up to dry or else they get that mildew-y smell. I hate that mildew smell. I have smelled many a towels (I know weird) and only about a handful had that sweet detergent aroma. Most smelled like they were wet for a long time and they would continue with their shameless damp life of spongy scent for weeks to come… Ok, so I am a little OCD about the random things in life. Towels and how many times each armpit gets a swipe of deodorant. But other than that a majority of everything is a jumble of “maybe this’ll work” or “well, never tried this before so let’s go for it” or “that sounds scary so I’ll watch you do that then ponder whether or not I should get mixed up in that noise.”
Some things that I’m decent at, I don’t even do correctly all the time. For example, I am a teaching assistant and these children that are ages 6 to 7 1/2 are supposed to stay quiet and in a straight line most of the time. Both metaphorically and literally. I tend to chit chat with them, bend the rules about what they do in the hallway, let them run around a bit and get loud before I decide whether or not to intervene. If I do chastise them, I get so concerned that I did it out of anger and not that their behavior warranted a talking to. It’s hard. I feel like I’m a pseudo parent to about 18 children 5 days a week but I am at the bottom of the staff totem pole.
When I think “wow, I am not a teacher–I do not know how to do this; what did my teachers do with me and my smart ass?!” That’s when one of them attempts to sneak up on me and usually fails then just gives me a bear hug. That is so unfair but really needed sometimes. What I love about children as completely bewildering as they can be; they are not afraid of being vulnerable. I’ve cried a few times in front of my students but I try so much to hide it–is that what being an adult means? Hiding your feelings and pretending they don’t exist?
That’s the real mess. How can I tell my students to be honest with their feelings when I have a hard time with my own? I see a lot of made up stories thrown around by adults to teach the children something about morality or another core value. What if we told the kids one of our own stories? How about the time I made the wrong choice in middle school and ditched my good, accepting friends to fit in with some “cool” people who weren’t actually that kind or accepting? Or how I tried to blame someone else when I wrote on a desk in elementary school; ended up confessing the truth and did not even end up in trouble because I was remorseful and told the truth.
But I’m not even a “real” teacher according to my label, I’m not even on my school’s website. But I do teach maybe not all the fancy stuff to get the students top marks. I hope I can say that I teach them that it’s ok to mess up and how to be more brave than I am.