Usually when I teach, my door is unlocked. Kids know that if they are running late, they should just walk in quietly, get to work, and I'll deal with it later.
Once in a while, I accidentally leave the door locked, and a late kid will just stand there. Eventually, someone will tell me, "There's someone at the door." When too busy to run over there, I say, "Give 'em the finger."
Invariably, three or four kids flip the bird, and I'm left shouting, "No! Wrong finger! The one-minute finger. Give 'em the one-minute finger!"
It's usually funny. The kids laugh. I pretend I was misunderstood. And life goes on. Unless . . . if it's an adult at the door. Like today . . . a very serious special-education teacher came knocking to check up on a student. Let's just say she was not amused about having the middle finger flashed at her by several of my kids. Of course I thought it was hilarious. But then it got me wondering:
- Why are some adults so damn serious around teenagers? Is it even possible?
- Why do special-ed teachers think they can barge in during the middle of class and expect me to answer their specific questions about one student when I have a whole class to deal with?
- Will I ever get tired of telling my kids to "give 'em the finger"? Will I ever grow up?