Friday, March 6, 2015

What would you hear if. . . ?

When I watch professional football, albeit rarely, I am always surprised when they broadcast the sounds from a player's helmet.   It seems to be an invasion of privacy as if their own helmet is the only safe place as each and every one of their moves is being hyper-analyzed from couches and recliners across the country.  I feel almost a bit protective and put out that they would share their breathing, grunts and comments.  Why do the players agree?  Do they have a choice?  Who do they choose; the players who are less likely to use choice vocabulary?  My most pressing question is, do the players forget that they have the microphone and that we are all listening in?

The other day, as I was making my way through my seventh period class I found myself saying "Timmy (names changed) you cannot have your pants around your ankles in class!"  As it was coming out of my mouth I was amazed as if I was in the stands listening in.

From that point, I've pondered, what would it be like if I had a microphone on during my day and my comments were heard and scrutinized?   What would people hear?  What would they think?

So I started paying attention and I heard a lot of mundane and repeated comments, "go ahead and have a seat", "Your eyes should be here", "Can I have your attention.", etc.  I realized that I repeat myself endlessly all day.  Where exactly does the patience for this come from?  I also hear myself creating relationships.  I'm asking questions non-stop checking in to find out how one student's nephew is doing now that he is out of the hospital or when soccer starts or when dad gets to come home.

The pants by your ankles comment was only the beginning of comments I make that are really pretty funny. I starting listing some of my gems.
  • Whose socks are in this desk?
  • No you can't breath in Smartie dust.
  • Yes, it IS poop on the floor.
  • You're right that is a frog.  I wonder how it got in here.
  • I'm standing here so you can't track the poop into the classroom. (different occasion)
  • You are right my computer is smoking.
  • Ewwwww.  You cannot pick your nose with your pencil!
 Someone could mash-up what teachers say on youtube and it would go viral.

Teachers get scrutinized in so many ways we might as well be given a microphone. We could be heard when we are "in the game".   Maybe the humanity of our job would become the focus again. People from all over the country could scrutinize what I say, the relationships I build and I would bet at the end of the video would wonder "How does she do that every day?"  I know why and that is what matters.


  1. Great post! I'm a high school teacher, so my comments would be a bit different, but people would still find them odd/humorous/heartening. It would be neat to follow a graduating class and the comments that their teachers make to them throughout their 13 years of school. Boy do they change yet stay the same!!

  2. Thanks for this funny, yet thought provoking post! I loved some of your comments! I guess we should all listen to ourselves sometimes.

  3. Thanks for this funny, yet thought provoking post! I loved some of your comments! I guess we should all listen to ourselves sometimes.

  4. I have thought about starting a quote board for things that I have said (or things that my students have said)...both as an avenue of reflection on a more serious note and also as a way to remember to laugh. As you said, it would be an interesting microphone for the world to hear!

  5. I think about this a lot!! (Well, I hadn't made the football helmet connection...that is an excellent observation - "Why do the players agree? Do they have a choice?" I wonder, how would my teaching change (would it?), if my every word was being recorded. You caught some priceless quotes!