Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It’s a Teacher Thing

I went to the first Beth Moore Bible study session and during the introductions; it was apparent that the room was almost full of teachers or retired teachers.

It reminded me of another class I took during the first semester of my first teaching year. 
I took a hand-piecing quilt class.

I taught in Raleigh, N.C. for Northern Wake Optional High School. 
The school was one attended by students that either had social/school issues, or had to make the choice of either going to high school or jail.  

It was the worst possible year I could have ever imagined. 
Let me take you there…

I taught six math subjects and one class of Biology.  
Each class was self-paced and very little whole-class activities occurred. 

One day my best Biology student disappeared and after five days of being absent, I asked one of the students where he was.  
He replied, “He got 3-5 years for breaking and entering.” 
He wasn’t coming back.

I was also 24 years old but looked more like 19. 
My oldest student was 23, and he asked me out more than once- that never happened.

There were drug dealers, on probation.

I also had fights break out in my class over love. 
I only remember seeing desks and chairs flying out the door as I went the opposite way.

I had a knife pulled on me, someone threatened to slash my car’s tires, and one day I noticed that the antenna was bent in the shape of a curly straw.   
As a result, the only male teacher escorted me from class each night to the parking lot where five of us carpooled each day.

I had one diagnosed schizophrenic, with five distinct personalities that popped out at inopportune times.
I was supposed to know how to deal with each one. 
Even though she was white, one personality was of a black, 9-month pregnant girl.  
There was no manual for me to use and I hated the Psychology class I took in college, so it was hit or miss.

I also had one “pimp”, two pregnant teenagers and nearly delivered a baby in my classroom.  
One teen left my room and in the parking lot, her water broke; the baby came in the E.R. doorway.

By Christmas, I had written my resignation and was dealing with an ulcer.

The quilting class was needed to relieve the stress.

In the class of 23 women, we learned in the second session that 21 women were actively teaching and needed to find a way to decompress. 
Although I never asked the quilters how bad their teaching situation was, I knew I was in good company.


As for the Bible study and the women in it, it is obvious that quilting could never match up to the spiritual support and guidance needed for today’s teacher in the line of fire. 

However, there may be a quilt square in progress in someone’s purse.



Life throws us meteorites and we learn to turn them into beautiful pieces of art.  
My quilt pieces became pretty pillows that were given away as gifts.  


I'd love to hear your stories. 
Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com because not everyday is humorous but we can find humor in every day.

Have a wonderful day.

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