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The Stereotypes Do Exist

September 27, 2019

Yes, stereotypes are bad. That being said, they are often very true as well. Last night was open house at the Big One’s school. Now when I was in high school open house was literally an open house. All of the classrooms were opened and parents were invited to wander in to any class and talk to any teacher. It was very low-key and casual. If you ran into a mom-friend in the hallway you could stop and chat. If that means you missed getting to your kids’ math class, oh well no big deal.

Well it’s not like that anymore. Now your child provides you with a copy of their daily schedule. The bells are set special for the event. The first bell rings and you have 5-minutes to get to your kids’ first period class. The teacher talks for 10 minutes. Then the bell rings again and you have 5-minutes to walk to the next class. Again, the teacher talks for 10 minutes and then it all begins again until you have successfully walked through your child’s entire school day in about 90 minutes.

It’s an alright system. It’s nice to get to literally walk the path you child walks each day. It makes it easier to understand, why they never see their friends. Or why they cannot go to the restroom between classes. It forces you to experience each teacher that your child is learning from each day.

As you all know I have girls, I suspect the boy parent experience may be different (or I could be stereotyping here).  My girls tell me about their days. I hear the stories of fun, cool teachers. I also hear about the nightmare teachers. I hear about how crowded the lunch quad gets. I know the restroom lines are ridiculous long. I know the band room smells kinda gross. And the toilet paper is too thin. These are the things I hear about all the time.  So going into open house last night, I had a preconceived notion of what each classroom was going to feel like.

So let’s see who the Big One’s teachers are…  based on common stereotypes:

1st Period – The Hip, Cool Young Teacher
The Big One likes this guy. She’s not a huge fan of English but she does pretty well. He’s single, so he is fully dedicated to his class. He’s available before school, after school and at lunch. He’s creative, loves to write and really, really, really wants your kid to love writing and be a critical thinker.

2nd Period – The Foreign Teacher
No, I am not talking about foreign language teacher here. This is the teacher who came to the US from a different country. English is not the teacher’s first language. The teacher is well educated and well versed, but may not be very good at reading their students. She talks a lot, with a very heavy accent. So instead of learning much, at some point the students tune her out completely because they cannot understand a word she is saying. (Not good in an advanced math class, I am just saying!)

3rd Period – THE Favorite Teacher
As soon as you walk into this room you feel at ease. There is a sense of calm and belonging. The sweet, smiling teacher gives a cool big-sister type vibe. She asks each parent, “Who’s your kid?” with each answer she nods and smiles and says “ohhh yes” or  grins knowingly and says, “ahhhhh.” She knows each student’s name and has something memorized about each of their personalities. She’s amazing.

4th Period – The Unorganized but Super Likeable Teacher
This is your student’s favorite class, not because of the teacher but because of the subject matter and the fact that all of their “tribe” is in this class with them. It’s the elective class (for us that’s band). The teacher is a musician. He is definitely not the administrative, organized type. Thankfully, he has wonderful older students who serve as mentors, guiding us all through the high school process.

5th Period – The Laid-Back Cool Guy PE Teacher
What can be said about the high school PE teacher. He’s been there 20+ years. He’s super casual. I mean it’s PE right? What is there to say about PE. It’s fun. It’s laid back. You try and you will succeed.

6th Period – The Teacher Who Makes You Hate Your Life
This is the worst way to end your school day. This guy is a jerk. Your kid has told you he’s bad, but you think she must be exaggerating. It can’t be that bad, right? Wrong! Remember that feeling you got in 3rd period? Your classroom was welcoming. It was calm. It was familial. It was like home. Well, 6th period is the complete opposite. You can feel the tension as soon as you enter the room. It was very strange to feel the air literally getting sucked out of the room as he began talking. This was the only teacher who had a line of angry parents from the previous period wanting to speak with him. This was the only class, where when the teacher asked us if we had any questions, multiple hands shot up. The tone and content of the questions was very combative. We all wanted answers and the guy was too arrogant to really provide them. You totally feel for your student after just 10 minutes in this class. How on earth they survive an hour is beyond me.  The truly sad part about this guy is that he told us (and tells the students) that they are his best class. The are the most “advanced, advanced class” he’s ever had in many, many years of teaching. Yet it felt like he had no respect for the students, for us as parents or even for the school in general. {Trust me there is so much more to say. I guarantee there will be an entire post about this guy sooner versus later. Probably multiple actually.}

I am pretty sure that I had all of these same teachers when I was in high school as well. The names and faces change, but the reality is that high school is truly a microcosm of the real world. It’s the best place for our students to grow into decent people. They are faced with challenges and difficulties that we hope and pray will prepare them for the “real world.” There are good moments. There are hard moments. There are silly times. There are challenging times. There are differences of opinions. There are amazing moments of connecting with other people.  Some days will be terrible. And some days will be amazing. The bottom line is high school is so critically important in shaping who our kids will be. I pray each day for their safety and for an openness to learning, growing and blooming because someday these kids will be running the show. I hope we haven’t screwed them up too much.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2019 9:58 am

    You may wish to revise the last sentence and then delete this comment!

    • fixitmommy permalink*
      September 27, 2019 12:22 pm

      Oy vey! I need an editor! Thank you 🙂

  2. September 27, 2019 9:59 am

    I think I had all of those teachers at my school!

    • fixitmommy permalink*
      September 27, 2019 12:23 pm

      I am pretty sure they are universal.

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