Well, I’m still here. I didn’t ghost ya. I don’t do that anymore.
I may have ghosted my first Chicago ex, but I really should have ghosted that 8th grade class I student taught back in 2010. They were a tough bunch. How I survived, I have no freaking idea.
In the final semester of my Masters in Elementary Education, I was assigned to a cooperating teacher who didn’t give a flying crap about his teaching or his students. He thought it was best to stand in front of the podium and lecture at 33 inner city, 8th grade kids. All. School day. Long.
So, I did what everyone else was doing. I counted the drops of drool that slowly escaped from my mouth. The boy next to me snored softly and the girl across from me doodled cartoons on the wooden desk.
But when Mr. M called me to the front to teach my lesson, I was ready! The back of my hand quickly became my napkin and I marched to the front of the class with way too much confidence. I was going to show these kids that learning was fun!
Who was I kidding? These kids didn’t give a flying crap either. They started throwing paper at each other just to intimidate me. Before I even spit out my first word, Gabriel approached me at the podium and stood about two inches from my face.
Gabriel was this chauvinistic 8th grader who thought he was too cool for school. He had slick black hair that was just too wavy to be natural. And he walked with the kind of limp a gym rat would walk with if he was trying to show off his guns to the mirrors. Shoulder up. Shoulder down. You know that walk.
What he said to me was very strange. Mind you, we’re in front of the whole class. I hadn’t even said, “Hello everyone.”
Gabriel: “Hey Mr. Czech.”
I could feel his breath on my face when he exhaled.
Me: “Hey Gabriel. Do you mind taking your seat so I can teach my first lesson?”
Gabriel: “Sure. I just wanted to tell you before you started that you look really sexy today.”
Inner me: WTF!?!
Me: “Gabriel, I don’t think that’s something you should say to your teacher, like ever. Go to your seat.”
I tried to relate to him with the “like ever” part. I think it worked.
My face usually turns beet red when I get embarrassed. But somehow, I kept my cool and remained stoic like Mr. D when he taught. I guess I did learn something from my cooperating teacher after all.
Gabriel shot me a devilish smirk, turned around, and walked to the back of the classroom. The front of the class was giggling, but I pretended it didn’t happen. I didn’t give a flying crap. We were going to talk about square roots whether I looked sexy or not.
So that’s what I did. We talked about square roots. And maybe some American History too. But I sure made it more interesting than standing at a podium the whole time.