I think so many people are interested in teacher stories because school is the one institution almost every single person has experienced. However, 99% percent of people only see the student side of things. Very few of us get to see the teacher side of things. Our experiences on the other side of the locked door are kept from students.
I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into the behind the scenes world of my teaching experiences every once in a while.
I taught a cooking class, and we were asked to cater a board meeting that was taking place at the elementary school next door. Since it was almost Christmas, some of my students wanted to make sugar cookies as the dessert. Groups were made, recipes handed out, and everyone got to work on a part of the meal. The students had chosen their own groups, and this was working fine until I realised that the group making the cookies was all of the trouble making students together. It was too late to move people around so I hoped for the best…
…until I got hit in the back of the leg with something. What was that something?…cookie dough! It should be noted that I was on the complete opposite end of the classroom from the cookie making group, and I was by myself sorting out our linens cupboard. In other words, I was the target of the cookie dough missile, and not someone caught in the crossfire. They tried to convince me it was a mistake as I was sending them all to the office (my room was 2 doors from the office, so they didn’t have much time to try to win me over), but all I could think was “You hit my leg, but I bet you were aiming for my head.”
The classroom gets back to working on their recipes (because, as is the case for many classes, 95% of the students are good and 5% make life very very difficult) and I take over the cookies. Obviously the dough was done, and just needed to be wrapped and put in the fridge. I noticed as I was wrapping the dough that it smelled very…spicy…Not “hot” spicy, more like “a Christmas candle factory just blew up in here” spicy. It turns out that not only did the boys think they could throw cookie dough at their teacher and not get caught, they also thought they could interpret the recipe to add heaping tablespoons of cinnamon. And nutmeg. And ginger. To sugar cookies. For school board officials. And not get caught. (Honestly, the teenage brain. Sometimes it can be so…what’s a professional sounding synonym for ‘dumb’?)
My third period class ended up baking the dough later in the day. I didn’t tell them they were supposed to be sugar cookies, and they loved them. The platter got named “Christmas Spice Cookies” and the meal was successful enough for me to keep my job.