Friday, April 15, 2011

Teachers in the Wild

I think that Highlights for Kids should introduce a new section entitled "Teachers: They're Just Like Us!"  At the very least, such a photo spread would be educational for the first-grade girl I ran into the other day at the vending machine in my building.  I had been standing with my eyes trained squarely on the Cheez-Its--deftly avoiding looking toward the jacuzzi where I had once accidentally seen two college kids making out--when I heard a teeny voice say, "Miss Robertson?"  Then the voice grew louder with confidence, "Miss Robertson?  What are you doing here?"

That question is where this picture, positioned next to Goofus and Gallant perhaps, would come in:

They eat stale Chips-Ahoy!
Miss Robertson stepped downstairs to get a bag of chocolate chip cookies and a pop. Sources close to the Grand Forks substitute teacher report that she often eats vending machine food for dessert.

That one picture wouldn't even begin to make a dent in changing most students' responses to seeing their teachers in the suburban wild, however.  As a sub, I run into kids I've taught nearly every day, and I've learned that their reactions range from embarrassed, shy surprise (hiding behind their mothers' coats) to excited, loud surprise (the little girl at my building's pool).  This tabloid-style photo layout would have to be a regular feature, then, with occasional special edition inserts aimed at other school employees: "Principals: They're Just Like Us" or "Paraprofessionals: They're Just Like Us!"

Witness (and please forgive the Myspace quality of these photos):

Their hair gets frizzy!
We snapped Miss Robertson reading a book near her Grand Forks apartment.  It was unclear if the sub, who recently moved from Chicago, had remembered to brush her hair that morning.

They go to the grocery store!
Miss Robertson was caught wearing her favorite sunglasses on the way back from the local Hugo's.  The thrifty GFPS sub apparently had a coupon for her favorite pop.

In other news, I've been looking for a photo to include with the resume packet I hand out to principals.  I think I've found it.


  1. DUDE I love the last one. So paparazzi!

  2. I think this is my favorite post yet. Especially the "stale cookies" label.

    P.S. Thoughts on Jack Lemmon now? I still love him, but slightly less than before I read that book.

  3. Dani, same about Jack Lemmon. I've decided, though, that that's at least partially the fault of the biographer.

  4. Yeah. My kids do that less so, but they are still sooooooo embarrassed to see me out of school. One came trick-or-treating to my house with all his little cousins and his mom. SO embarrassed. He could barely look at me.

  5. So, way late, but my kids totally do this, too. Except I get it in Korean--"Sonsaengnim? OOOOHH! Chungmal sonsaengnim i-da! Annyeong-haseyo!" (Teacher? OOOOHH! It's really teacher! Hi!") And if they see me at the vending machines, they always try to give me some of whatever they bought, because that's polite, and it's usually squid-flavored chips. Alas.