Personal Questions

Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

544853_question_markCalebteaches got me thinking about this today.

How old are you?

Do you have a girlfriend?

Do you have a MySpace?

I love working with middle school kids. When I was teaching 6th grade, I got a lot of these weird questions. Now that I’m working with 7th & 8th graders, I get less of them, but the rumors become more elaborate.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my 7th graders asked me if I was going out with a band director at another school in our district. I told her no. But as I thought about it, I realized this is probably the best rumor that I’ve ever heard floating around about me. Much better than the typical middle school ones I normally hear.

No, I’m not gay. No, I’m not dating any of my students — nor am I interested in them. No, I don’t live at school and shower in the gym. And on and on it goes. But this one was intriguing.

It tells me that they actually respect! I mean, they didn’t come up with an ugly old crazy cat lady teacher to pair me up with in their minds. It is an attractive, sweet second year teacher.

So two of the other band directors latched onto this and are perpetuating it. I now daily face questions about when the wedding date is and if they are invited.

So I snuck out of class and took her ice cream last week and since her birthday was this past week, I bought her a birthday present and met her and a couple of other people for lunch. If there’s a good rumor going on about me out there, I might as well perpetuate it, right?

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