Every day, I encounter situations within the teaching realm that in my teacher training were, well, not taught.
1. The other day a student asked me if I knew about caring for piercings. Since I have a few holes in my ear, sure I responded, truly not know what I was getting into. The student preceded to lift up her shirt, asked me to look at her fresh belly piercing and diagnose an infection. Umm, I’m not wearing a medical jacket and no I am not looking at that!
2. Recently a student’s prized ipod stopped working. Since this student is music dependent, the lack of tunes means a crash in production rate. To help out, I decided to take a look. A few minutes later with a diagnosis made, I jumped into repair mode. Turns out the headphone jack was packed with pocket lint. After an intense needle session, the ipod was functioning again. The happy kid plugged himself in and work progression was back up to speed. Small electronics repair…quicker than Rapid Repair…perhaps a future job when the politicians continue to cut education funding.
3. During a rough patch at home, a student came to me with court paper work. He was taking his mom to court over an animal issue. While he could read through all of the legal jargon, his comprehension of the terminology left him wondering what was next. Together we sat and reread the material, I highlighted the necessary contact information, and by the end, I understood why a percentage of our population end up repeat offenders or struggle through what some would consider “basic” paperwork. Another career change? Perhaps lawyer should be next on my line up.
4. The after-lunch class is often filled with a gaseous cloud. A few repeat offenders struggle through the hour with belly pains and frequent trips to the facilities. After a few weeks of this, I sat two down for some nutrition straight talk. Turns out that they were daily visitors to the neighboring gas station for an energy drink, candy bar, a bag of chips, and a toasted Mexican roll or deal of the day lunch. At 2 for a $1 or 2 for $1.50, the students were attempting a frugal meal. Both were eating for under $5.00. We discussed the quick burn of crappy food, healthier options available, and I assigned a task. Together they researched their daily caloric levels and compared it to their calorie lunch total. While the lesson was not life changing, it was eye opening. I could not change their whole lunch, but did get them to substitute some items. They will now drink the sugar free energy drinks and attempt to eat healthier; a cheese stick, not a king-size bar, smaller bag of chips, etc. Some days, the room still has a cloud hanging over it, but it smells a little better. Nutritionist I am not, but a defender of better choices.
5. High school and hormones, a lethal cocktail. Some days crying eyes leads to relationship counseling or friendship wrangling. Most sessions, I rely on my legal pad to keep track of the who did what to whom. One day the web was tangled enough I moved to my large white board. Teenage drama is exhausting. Was I really like this? Is a therapist in my future? Not seeing one, but being one…
The walls of Education continue to grow. Never a dull moment in adolescent education!