I was mortified as I walked in to the building this morning. I couldn’t help but turn a little red and hurry a little faster into the safety of my room. It was hard to believe that she had really pointed me out that way, right in front of students and co-workers. It just isn’t right!
You see, I’ve never seen myself as one of “Those” people. You know the ones…totally left brained anal-retentive rule keepers who never color outside of the lines and who couldn’t possibly fathom putting a neon purple streak in their ferret’s hair (Mostly because they only own those little miniature rat things that squeak instead of bark but would never have colored fur). NO SIRREE! I AM A REBEL! I AM A WRITER AND WRITERS ARE BOHEMIAN ARTIST TYPES! I AM WEIRD! FORGET THE NORMIES AND COME FROLIK! And then day 2 of students being in school rolls around. As I’m walking into the school to open up my room, a fellow teacher calls out to a couple of boys nearby. “Boys! We want you to walk on the sidewalk instead of on the grass…you see how Our teachers are doing it? See Ms. Tyree there? We want you to walk like her, on the sidewalk and not killing our grass!”
I could feel my street cred flying away from me. Knife to the heart, wrenching stomach pains, pounding headache…Ms. Tyree is a side walker, a joiner, a follower…my toes screamed out “No, we love the grass! Don’t point to us!!” but it was too late, the damage was done. I was labeled.
*Though this is a true account, I have exaggerated a little here and there (mostly right there to your upper right hand side). I didn’t realize until halfway through, however, that I was doing so for a purpose. You see, I have students who have been spoken about, applauded, and/or ignored for the better part of their existence. As 5th graders, they know who is different or if they are the different ones. But I don’t want to know more than I absolutely have to. Do I have to know who has autism and who is ADHD with meds to take? YES! I need to know for everyone’s safety and, more importantly, to give them their best chance at growth this year. But I don’t need another teacher to tell me how my student used to lay down on the floor and bellow like a goat in the second grade…I’m fairly certain that I used to swing by myself, singing made up songs in four part harmony when I was in second grade. I had mostly grown out of that by the time I hit 5th grade.
More than that…writing does not only belong to the ‘gifted’ program kids, or to the ‘normies.’ In fact, most of those people won’t understand the real truth in writing, because writing is a very adaptive art. My ‘specials’ on the other hand, have learned from experience the need to learn and adapt. Who do you think would do better? I’m betting on my specials!
Thank you all for your continued support. I will (hopefully) be able to spend a little more time with the blog by next week. I know we are sorely in need of some new posts! (I also just remembered that today is Wednesday so….no Reading Wednesday this week).
May you all be blessed and peaceful this week, and may you never be a “Normie!”