Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things they never tell you about teachering and pregnancy

  • Teenagers, assuming they like you, will at some point get comfortable enough that they will ask you very personal questions. Not the ones you are mildly prepared to be "surprised" by, but ones that you will have no prepared answer for. "Do you have kids?" "Why not?" "Do you want them?" "When will you have them?" And countless variations that there's just no preparing for. And no amount of saying, "That's a very personal question, and none of your business" will suffice, because that's only one period's worth of teenagers. You have five periods a day, and then there's a whole new semester's worth coming in January.
  • Once you get pregnant, teenagers get very upset if you don't tell them personally. If, say, you tell one class and you don't tell another. (How do you "announce" your pregnancy to a room full of 30 hormonally challenged young adults, anyway?) I'm just saying.
  • Teenagers also think you will instantly be giving birth. When you tell them that you won't be gone until say, April (and late April at that!) they are shocked and surprised. Apparently they expected you to be on maternity leave in the next four weeks.
  • You know how pregnant women get swollen ankles? Try teachering. Oh dear heaven.
  • It's really hard to convince yourself to sit more and still be a teacher.
  • Perhaps not surprising, but still not something that had occurred to me: the prospect of naming is very important to students. They will offer suggestions almost daily, usually suggestions that are very very very close to their own name. And the weirdness of the suggestion of naming your child after a student will completely escape them.
  • If you start to experience SPD, teaching will suuuuck. Every, every day.
  • After all of that, you will be surprised every day with how much these teenagers care. Not really surprising, maybe, given how concerned they are with other, more earthy aspects of reproduction, but at the same time, there will be moments of absolute charm. Some of these kids will delight in your progress. Some, girls especially, will privately and timidly ask if they can touch your belly. They will take paramount interest in if you are having a boy or a girl. Some, that you don't have in class at all, and haven't for two years, will hear from someone who heard from someone that you are pregnant and will come by just to say how happy they are for you.

    And then they'll ask you to name the baby after them.

1 comment:

kimberly said...

SPD? That sounds awful. I'm so sorry!