My son and I are leaving our small town in southeastern United States to live for a year in a small town in southeastern France. It couldn't possibly be THAT different, right?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vacation time---again!

    Today is my last day of classes before a two-week winter break!  It's coming just in time too.  These kids wear me out!
    The day before I left for my Fulbright meeting last week, I discovered that someone had written some lovely words about me in the textbooks that stay in the classroom and are shared by many students.  I told my mentor who said that I had to let the principal know since they would be using the same books next year.
    I tried to show my good sense of humor about the situation because it really is not the first time I've been insulted by a teenager, and it won't be the last, but the truth is, it wiped me out emotionally.  This job is hard enough without feeling like the kids hate me.  To be fair, I guess I should say "a" kid hates me, but it felt like everyone did that day.
    My principal was furious and wanted to conduct a thorough investigation by taking up everyone's notebooks and analyzing their handwriting, and he was perfectly willing to do the work himself.  I asked him to just drop it, though.  I don't want to give more importance and attention to the vandalism than it has already received.  I'll just white it out and move on.
    The day after the incident, my little fan club of four boys in quatrième came to see me before lunch and told me how sorry they were to hear about the bad words in the book.  They wanted me to know that they like me very much and that they will miss me next year.  When they left, I turned around to erase the board, and one of them had written, "Madame Howie est belle."
     The same four boys stayed after class yesterday because they had heard that students had been stealing my white board markers.  Two of them had brought markers from home to give to me.  I swear, just when you think that you can write off all teenagers as little jerks, someone comes along and melts your heart!  I'm still ready for that vacation, though!

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