I’m a Class Distraction (Without Trying To Be)


Yesterday the seniors realized that I’m a person who existed before this semester. I have a life outside of the classroom walls. I am involved in community activities outside of student teaching. And yes, I once was in high school, too.

If I’m honest with myself, yesterday’s grammar lesson was a flop. ish. I was trying my hardest to keep the class focused on gerunds and gerund phrases, but oddly enough I was bombarded with details of my life story.

You were the second runner-up in the fair pageant weren’t you.


She played softball.


You graduated high school in 2011, didn’t you.


She went to WNCC.


And on and on and on.

Dang, they are good. Someone definitely did their research.

When a student asked me if I had a little sister, I said no. She was appalled. “Didn’t everyone in the pageant have a little sister?”

Oh. We’re still talking about the pageant. Not actual siblings. Okay, back to gerunds.

Needless to say, they were hard to manage. They didn’t want to do gerunds so they pegged me as an easy distraction. So I made them write their own sentences with gerunds. They struggled. No longer did they want to talk about me. They wanted answers.

They had wanted to go outside to do their homework, but because we spent so much instructional time talking about my life we didn’t have time to go outside. I graded their homework today and it was no bueno.

The funny thing is that between every period of the day (that’s 8 periods), I stand in front of the senior lockers and monitor the halls. None of them pay attention to me. Or ask me about my life. Or take much interest whatsoever. But when class time rolls around, they can’t get enough of me.

We don’t give students enough credit; they’re pretty darned smart.