Waitaminnit! I just went and looked, and the first posts on this here blog were all the way back in 2008. Nine years?! 500 posts?!

Ok, some are reruns (mebbe 10-15%), but still… 270,000+ words!

But enough looking backward… Although today’s post does have a bunch of links to some old classics from over the years.

One of the great things about this job is the fact that even though on the surface, it looks like the same same all the time, there is always SOMETHING new/different/what the…? Even after 25 years at the same school…

This year already has a couple of examples.

Earliest detention-giving ever. Usually on the first day of school, they sit and stare at me like I’m speaking Mandarin Chinese to their dog. They are all scared to death of me and my stick (more on that in a minute) and half of them still can’t open their lockers, and they freeze up when I ask how to pronounce their names. But this year… I had a kid in the FIRST PERIOD OF THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL who obviously didn’t read the memo about how this place works. (Hint: It’s not a democracy.)  This one needed a few rides around the arena, so to speak, and he still wasn’t getting it; he thought this was his show, not mine. When I told him to stay in at break for detention… well obviously he wasn’t used to that. Hmmm. A little personal heart to heart, and we’re BFFs now. Most of the time.

Earliest You’re-So-Scary. Only one week in, I get an e-mail from my AP with the header, “Be You…but.” First of all, what’s that mean? But? But what? Don’t be you? Be not so much you? Be you, but pretend not to? Then I read this: “Got a kiddo that is scared. .. Fear/anxiety is a great motivator, but I want you to be sure that the kiddos feel, and say, that their teacher is caring and sensitive too.”

First of all, I love the part about public relations: “and say.” What the kids say is just as important as what they feel. Hmmm, Interesting. Secondly, hahahahahahahahahahaha. Caring and sensitive? Has he met me? Third, back in the day in teacher school, “raising thier level of anxiety” was a supposedly proven technique. Fourth, he must have forgotten that it is all part of the shtick. I even warn parents of that at Back to School Night, saying that the first six weeks are like boot camp, and I am the Drill Instructor. But by the sixth week or sooner, they will think this class is the best thing since Sponge Bob.

Sho’ ’nuff, by the end of the week, the “kiddo” was saying this was one of her fave classes, and that Mr. Coward is funny.

Luckily, looks aren’t everything.