So it’s finally the end of my first year as a teacher (as mish-mashed as this year has been, it still technically counts as my first year teaching), and I’m realizing now more than ever there’s a problem with yearbooks. Not even so much the fact that my pictures end up in there (thankfully there are only two of me, and they’re both decent) but more the fact that kids want me to actually sign their yearbooks.
Now when I was a kid, I remember this as being a fairly happy and exciting time of year (not to mention the fact that school was OVER and it was SUMMER ERMEHGAD). Signing friends’ yearbooks, as well as the yearbooks of your sworn enemies (I swear, the end of the year brought out a different side of people, i.e. a fake side in which all differences from the past year were thrown aside in favor of a “best friends forever” vibe in which you were forced to sign all the yearbooks of people you couldn’t stand and who, in turn, were forced to sign yours, all the while done with a huge, drugged-out-psycho smile) was always a fun and easy task, because you knew these kids and had probably spent at least the last year of your school career with them, if not longer. So finding the right words to put into each and every person’s yearbooks was never a particularly difficult task. And if all else failed and I couldn’t find the right words, I’d just default on my name and a skillfully drawn doodle of Trogdor. But I’m not sure anyone would get it if I drew a Trogdor in their yearbook (nor would that be deemed acceptable as something a teacher should write in their students’ yearbooks).
Now the advantage I had all year with my crazy, pieced-together job position is that I’ve basically had the chance to teach almost every kid in the school at one point or another, so I can probably recall on command about 98% of the students’ names. So when approached by kids I’ve probably only seen a few dozen times all year to sign their yearbooks, I have no problem remembering who the fuck they are. The problem I’m having is that I don’t know know most of the kids that WELL, so I end up writing the same generic garbage in about 98% of the yearbooks I sign. I can only hope they don’t compare notes and realize I’m just a horrible, lazy, unoriginal fraud of a teacher. To me, it just seems like a lot of pressure for a teacher to endure. I mean, I had to put up with you all year and impart wisdom on you and now you expect me to write some eloquent, meaningful goodbye note in your yearbook? Such high demands, kids. I mean, really, c’mon. I should just start writing random facts in there. For example: “When I was 10 years old, I had a pair of mittens. Love, Ms. Bodwell.” They probably wouldn’t get it, but it would be hilarious to me. I think I’ll go with that for next year. Done.
P.S. I realize this is also about a week late on my own part, but I guess that just makes me a procrastinator as well as a horribly unoriginal teacher. A lot of schools are just now getting out though, so I find some comfort in knowing I don’t completely suck. It’s not like I’m posting this in September guys, geez.