Sunday, December 03, 2006

Behind Closed (Classroom) Doors

Each and every day, I strive for a G-rated classroom. I really do. I mean, I don't consciously think about it when I walk in at 7:30 a.m., but at no point in my teaching day do I say to myself, What I have here is a room full of teenaged hormones just waiting for a catalyst. I think it's time to toss out something that is just a blatant sexual innuendo. Yet, it happens. And it's not just me. For example, this from my now-retired buddy Barb in the biology department:

So I've got the kids all dissecting their frogs, right? And, as usual, I'm walking around all the lab tables, looking for the best specimens of each of the organs they have to draw on their diagrams in their lab notebooks. I'm hollering all period: "Over here is a good example of the heart", and "Take a look at the liver at Kim's table" and things like that. And then...I wander to one of the tables in the back where Mike S. is. Remember Mike? He was a football player and was homecoming king that year. Good looking, tall. "Oh, hey!" I yell, all excited. "Mike's got a great-looking set of gonads back here!"

And this from Sue, my department head.

I had been talking about books with my students. We were discussing our favorites and what kinds of books we all like. Some of them are intimidated by long books--one look and they put them down. Other students look for books by particular authors, still others read graphic novels. A few days later, I was eager to share a new book with the class. "I don't know how many of you will like this one," I started out by saying. "But I know Amanda will love it. It's long and thick and hard, just the way she likes them!"

And we thought we could alleviate so much just by shelving the teaching of lie/lay.


  1. I'm sure that unlike your accidental innuendos, there was absolutely nothing accidental about Sue's outburst. I've experienced a few dozen just like it.

  2. ih--i'm thinkin' this one really was.

    danielle--every school has its bad teachers. sadly, not all of them get run out on a rail as they should be. innocent comment like my colleagues made really aren't quite analogous to what you mentioned. people like that diminish my profession.

    v-grrrl--i can see you wagging from here.

  3. Anonymous7:55 PM

    Accidents happen! But this topic brings me to ask this: What is one to do when surrounded by a room full of raging hormonal teenaged students (especially young men, and I use that term "young men" lightly) when the innuendos are coming from the students themselves and directed at the new female student who they ultimately learn is in fact the substitute teacher? Nina

  4. I agree. Thankfully, people like that tend to disappear as quickly as they come. Oops..


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