Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Small Town Celebrity

I am a small town celebrity. My superstar status is not related to a particular talent or event. My notoriety does not stem from any abominable deed. Yet I am recognized county-wide as a local bigwig.

My claim to fame is my career of educating the citizens of tomorrow. Think about it. If a teacher lands a job at the tender age of twenty-two, and forges ahead until retirement at fifty-two, that teacher has touched the lives of approximately 3600-5400 students. It depends on the size of the school district. The low number assumes a class size of twenty students per class period, and the high number represents thirty students per class period. Either way you look at it, that's the population of a town around these parts.

It's a bit disconcerting to hear your name called out on a parking lot. Then comes the guilt-inducing, "Don't you remember me?" Sure, the face looks familiar. It's the list of 5400 possible names to go with it that presents the problem. The accosters are unfailingly, overwhelmingly, polite. They give the name, and it all comes back. Like yesterday.

Even so, I can't help but feel remorse for not shouting out the right name from the get-go. And I'm still over a thousand faces away from retirement.

5 comments:

Josh Hoyt said...

This is an amazing amount of people that you have touched. I love teachers (well good ones that is) they are amazing the amount of work they do and what they have done for society.

hocam said...

I hear you!! I'm in the same boat. I started work at 20, now almost 53. I looked around me in church on Christmas Eve and realised I had taught anyone local there under 40 years of age. Scary!!

Linda O'Connell said...

I learned early on how to solve this problem. Whenever someone yells my name, I say, "Hi there, honey, buddy, sweetie."

A student teacher told me one of the valauble things she learned from me was that if she couldn't remember all of the students' names, she could still make them feel special by recognizing them as Honey. I've been at this teaching thing for 34 years and this always works. My problem is, I amswer to Miss Linda and when I was at the casino recently getting a card made, the woman handed it to me and said, "here you go, Miss Linda." I looked at her in disbelief. She looked my age. I said, "When were you in my class?" She laughed after I explained,a nd she probably muttered, Dummy under her breath when I walked away.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I get the same thing on a much smaller scale here at the kampground. "Don't you remember us, we camped here right after you bought the property?" I decided to be up-front and honest from the get-go. I tell them that I only remember people who caused me problems. This means they must be wonderful campers ......
Hey, it works!

Val Thevictorian said...

Josh,
You're so good for my ego!

hocam,
It's amazing how time flies when you're molding the citizens of tomorrow.

Linda,
Just be happy that your girdle didn't jump out of your purse. As for the "Honey" advice...my students are quite a bit older, so I'm afraid to go the Honey route.

Kathy,
That's a most scathingly brilliant idea. Unfortunately, the majority of students who seek me out WERE the rule-breakers of the school. Not so much for me, personally. Still, they wouldn't fall for that line. I usually ask what they're doing now, and tell them how I was sure back then that they would turn out to be good workers. Many of them are now out-earning me.