All of us who have taught junior high for any length of time realize that one must have, in almost equal measure, the opposing qualities of the patience of Job (alert: Biblical reference) and the short, random fuse of of a steroided up cage fighter.

Of course I exaggerate. Wink wink, nudge nudge. But you all know what I mean.

You have to be able to say the same thing 20 or 30 time or more per day, and not act like it (too much).

You have to be able to not go all Sr. Enda on them, and as a retired colleague of mine used to sweetly and unironically say, reteach the behavior. Again. Without screaming.

You have to be able to answer the same question three times within five minutes…at least five times a day.

Your tolerance for external stimuli and extraneous noise has to be exceptionally high.

You have to actually like them…or at least find them entertaining. The kids, that is. Not to mention the job itself.

And yet…

You must also call them on everything from gum chewing to dress code to poking the person closest just because (s)he’s the person closest. And not just call them on it; you’re supposed to prevent it from happening again.

You have to hound them about homework, and make them serve detentions. And you occasionally have to drop them like a bad habit, and send them packing to the vp’s office.

You have to say no like you mean it, and in these days of so much insincere no-saying (or more commonly, non no-saying) by other adults in these kids’ lives, you have to ACTUALLY mean it and back it up. With authority, as we used to say on the basketball court.

They have to know that you are the alpha, and sometimes that means proving it. Nudge nudge.

You have to be able to stop them in their tracks with a look. That look. If you don’t know what I mean, you won’t be here long.

This was all supposed to be an intro for my latest musings on how the kids are bringing out the rage-issues side of me of late. (One kid today actually asked what the word detour meant. Luckily, the rest of the class did the howling with laughter for me. Another claimed he was “just thinking about #5” when I called him on having his eyes closed during the warm up.) But House is about to start, and I probably won’t get get back to this tonight. So my dilemma is always whether to post the short nuggets of wisdom I have already wrought, or save and wait until I have something, you know, ┬ámore “substantial.”

What think ye? Shorter posts more often, or less frequent longer posts?

Now I gotta go change the title of the post.

D’oh. Now I see that the postponed Daytona 500 has preempted House.

Well I sure ain’t changing the title again.