I’m not sure how many of you know this, but pre-kids, I used to be a teacher. More specifically, I used to be a junior high teacher. So, if you think back for a couple of minutes to how much of a little punk ass you probably were at that age, you can probably understand how I got REALLY burnt out on this career REALLY fast. Nevertheless, though, I held my own for a solid six years with those hormonal little bastards, and truth be told, I actually have a lot of fond memories from my time with them. Sure, it’s a super tough age to teach, but it’s also a very important stage to try to make a connection and hopefully steer them on the right path towards something good. I was WAY younger than a lot of the other teachers at the school, and I think that the kids really felt like they could relate to me a little more. Sometimes, however, I think they felt a little too comfortable and close to me.
Most eighth grade boys are all about seeing how big of an idiot they can make of themselves in order to draw any little bit of attention that they possibly can. They all think they’re the next freaking Jim Carrey and try their very damnedest to put on a one-man show, never mind if it just so happens to be right in the middle of a lesson on prepositions. And let me just tell you, this type of behavior just completely fueled my fire. I may be petite, but I was known as being a hard ass and not putting up with a whole lot of shit in my classroom.
Throughout my teaching years, I certainly had my fair share of show-boaters who tried to pull their crap while under my wing. I recall this one boy, in particular, who drove the absolute bat crazies out of me. This kid was interested in anything and everything that didn’t relate in any way, shape or form to a single thing that was EVER going on in my class. I swear you would’ve thought there were talent scouts for Funny Bones sitting in the back of my classroom with the way this kid would perform on a daily basis. I slapped this kid with about a zillion detentions, but none of them seemed to ever deter him from coming back and pulling the same old stunts day after day.
I was so excited by the time eighth grade graduation rolled around so that I could finally be rid of this little troublemaker. I had absolutely no doubt that he would have considered me his very least favorite part of the whole eighth grade experience. So, you can see then why I about fell over in shock when this very same unruly kid approached me in peace at the big eighth grade dance. My husband and I had agreed to be chaperones and were standing around chatting when young junior came up and asked me to dance. I practically choked on my punch and just stood there completely stunned at the very thought of it. After a couple of seconds of very awkward silence, my husband leaned over and whispered that I HAD to dance with this poor kid if he had the guts to ask me in front of ALL his friends who were standing there gawking. Trust me, the last thing on earth I wanted to do was to dance with this little thug, but I swallowed my pride and let him guide me out onto the gym floor. It was by far the most uncomfortable slow dance I’ve ever had in my entire life, but my husband later tried to explain to me that it was probably the highlight of this kid’s whole year. He said that boys at that age have no idea how to show their feelings for girls, and they often end up being complete a-holes to them instead. So, I suppose then, that under this theory, I was the object of this moron’s affection or something.
Actually, if you think about it, the whole eighth grade boy mentality is not really all that different from most grown men. Don’t they typically all have trouble expressing their feelings and act like complete jackasses when they see something that they want? And the hormones? The hormones NEVER EVER stop raging! Ok, so, maybe the old boners don’t happen all twenty-four hours of the day, but I’d bet my left eyeball that they’re saluting at least a good fifteen to twenty hours a day. So, it’s no wonder then that my husband practically pushed me into the arms of this little classroom terror. I think he was secretly fulfilling some “hot for teacher” fantasy that he never quite fulfilled as a fourteen year old boy. Whatever, though — no harm, no foul. As long as I didn’t have to take anything to the drycleaners over someone else’s “overly excited reaction”, it’s all good, right?