I love my job. I really do. I love teaching. Even though my college professor said junior high students don't think, they just run on hormones for two years, and even though she is mostly right, I love teaching this age group. I am a pretty casual teacher in that I joke with the kids, tease them, and basically have fun with them. I teach them English, but more important than even that is letting the kids know that I care about them. If I can teach them a life lesson, that is more important than just the content. Don't get me wrong, we work hard in my class, but I also like to keep the atmosphere light. Maybe it's because I never have grown up. Sometimes we get a little off track and have a little too much fun. That happens rarely, but it does happen. Last week was one such occasion.
Last week we were making little books for the students to take notes in (see, we do work in my class). The students were stapling their books together and drawing on the covers. Knowing how much students love taking notes, I told them they could title their book anything they want, as long as it was school appropriate. They could even call it "Mrs. D.'s torture book" if they wanted. As they were stapling, several commented on the power of my staplers. (As a teacher, finding a good stapler that will stand up to a hundred plus students in a day is essential. And these staplers are the best. Seriously. I have a love affair with office supplies and these are awesome.) Now did you read the description of those staplers? Able to deliver 30 lbs of power with the touch of a finger. Keep that in mind. It's semi important to this story.
So the kids were stapling the books, drawing on the covers, and talking about the staplers. And some of the boys started to ask, can you shoot staples with these things? I said no because with the way this stapler opens, I didn't think it was possible. But being teenage boys (they often do dumb things), they have to try and see if they can shoot staples with these staplers. Guess what? It turns out you can. And boy, can these suckers shoot a staple! You can get a good ten feet or more. Being fascinated with that 30 lbs of power, I had fun testing the range of these staplers. I could stand at the back of the room and peg the bulletin board at the front. That's good distance! And these things are a blur! You cannot even see them shoot out of the stapler. You only hear the ding as it hits the surface you are aiming at.
Of course, the boys in the class were fascinated. They wanted to know the sting factor of a staple shooting across the room with such force. So a few of them stood up and say, "Shoot me Mrs. D." And I oblige. Who am I to deny a teenage boy the knowledge of such power? So they would stand with their back to me and I would shoot them in the back. Each one of them gave a small yelp and wanted to do it again (yeah, that's the way teenage boys work). Through this process, I became enamored with the power of my staplers. I could be like a wild west gun slinger. I could tear those staplers out of their holders (my pockets), pop them open, and start shooting like no tomorrow. It was like guns blazing or something. And so, for the rest of the day, I had fun popping the boys who wanted it.
As the day ended, one of the boys showed me the picture he drew on his book. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you. Notice all the fine details. See my mullet? No I really don't have one in real life. And you gotta love my horns. The devious look in my eyes is surprisingly realistic. And you have to love the helmet head on the boy. I'm not quite sure what the black blur behind my butt is, but I can promise you I was not farting as I did this.
So, this is a day in the life of a student in my classroom. Aren't you so glad your child isn't in my room? And to let you know, the fun ended when I stapled myself in the finger. Apparently I didn't move my finger out of the way and used that 30 lbs of power to shoot a staple straight into my pointer finger. After that, I put the staplers safely away until the next time I feel the urge to be a wild staple-wielding slinger.