A teacher friend of mine share a Bored Teachers post called “14 Types of Teachers You’re Sure to Find in Any School”. She posted the numbers that described her, and I did the same. Just so you know, I’m 1, 5, and 11. Sometimes 7. So yeah, I’m THAT teacher.
Let me explain with a little anecdote. We are looking to hire a 6th and 7th grade ELA teacher for next year, and we’ve started to pull applications for interviews. I told my principal, “My only interview question is ‘How much can you get done in an hour?'” He said that no one would be able to answer that to my satisfaction because I’m not normal.
Oh, and I’ve already printed my planner for next year and mapped out all four quarters.
It’s true. I’m THAT teacher. The Perfect Classroom, Hard Ass, Over-Organized one. I own all of that. Everything is always graded, organized, clean, copied, and ready to go. And I’m always early. For everything. I don’t have behavioral issues in my class because my motto is “Work, then play.” If the kids don’t do their work, there is no room for down time. I get to school between 6:15 and 6:30 every day, and I leave as soon as dismissal is over. I don’t take work home but maybe once every two years. I have a coffee bar in my room every Friday so that we can fellowship for a couple of minutes before heading to our corners of the school. My room has flexible and alternative seating and is very warm, cozy, and welcoming.
I’m not bragging. It’s taken me 20 years to hone my skills, perfect my systems, and learn what works for me. I get here so early because I live in DFW and traffic is stupid in the morning. This way I miss it, and I can leave as soon as we are done so I can miss a bit of it on the way home. I have anxiety, so my preparation and organizational skills are necessary to keep myself level and calm. My room is decorated because I spend all day, every day in here, and that’s the way I like it. I have high expectations for my students because I am their teacher, and not their friend. That doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect my kids, but the way I show them is to be as prepared for them as I can be so they learn when they are in my room. And I don’t take work home because I’m usually just taking my papers on a field trip to my house and not actually doing anything with them.
All of this means there are only certain people on my campus who get me. Luckily, two of them are the other current ELA teachers. We are all super type A, and we’re okay with that. That’s actually what we hope to find in the person they hire for next year.
Then there are the naysayers. I have to admit, no one on my campus has ever said anything to me or been unkind to my face. The only things I’ve heard with my own ears have been from teachers on our sister campuses when they come to visit. Snarky comments about my room (“Geez, someone needs a life!”- That sort of thing) and I think those people have since moved on. Our little charter school family is pretty awesome, so I’m happy about that. But I know I can induce eye rolling in some because of my particular personality. I used to worry about it because, well, who doesn’t want to be liked? However, I had to ask myself, “Would you change who you are to have more people like you?”
In high school? Yes. A resounding yes.
Now? It’s too much work. And I like me. Most of the time.
So I will just get here at 6:15, play classical music, and plan for next year. I know. I know. I’m annoying.
But when one of my colleagues needs an extra hand at the beginning of school next year, I’ll be all done with my stuff and ready to help. 🙂