I was really hoping that something more “whoa” would come to me than the scary reflection in the mirror this morning. It was very, very “whoa”! I’m tired. I’m a-teacher-at-the-end-of-the-year tired. And that, naturally, leads to my “whoa” — one anyone who has known me for at least a year has already heard.

It was mid-way through last school year. I taught 6th graders then, but was walking in the early morning down the hall where the 7th graders waited for the first bell. I knew these guys, having had half of them the year before. I was on my way to a meeting, so my mood wasn’t great. I still had my first morning cup of coffee in my hand. As I started down the hall, the bell sounded and the throng began to move. Right in front of me was one of my darlings from the year before who was wearing pajama bottoms. I told her to go to the office and get some real clothes.

“THESE ARE SWEAT PANTS!” She yells at me.


She knew me. AND she knew how significant it was that I was still holding my first morning coffee.

Our conversation follows:

Me: You don’t remember the way to the office? Here, I’ll go with you.

Her: Why are you mad at me for SWEAT PANTS?

Me: (calmly) Do I look mad?

Her: But they’re SWEAT PANTS! SWEAT PANTS! This is so unfair for SWEAT PANTS!

Perhaps I should say here that I have a bit of a problem with repetition. . . especially when I’m still holding my first morning cup of coffee. I have enough sense to know she’s trying to persuade or just plain irritate me, so I decide to go on the offensive.

Me: What are they?


Me: They’re what?


Me: Say again?


By now we’re in the office and I drop her off in the waiting area while I go get the assistant principal in charge. As I’m leaving, going to the meeting I am now late for, a male teacher new to our school is going past. He glances in, sees the girl, then glances at me as he continues past the door.


No, that one was me. The guy jumps and looks at me, eyes wide.

“They’re SWEAT PANTS!” I say, the madness (and I don’t mean anger) in my tone obvious. “So unfair to bring her to the office for SWEAT PANTS!”

Unlike the student, this guy doesn’t know me. His eyes get wider, he turns away from me and does a speed walk toward his destination.

It took 20 minutes for my blood pressure to return to “normal,” and 20 seconds for the student to pull the jeans out of her backpack to put on, knowing she would have to once she got to school and some narrow minded teacher like me blamed her for wearing pajamas when they were so obviously…… well, you know.



6 thoughts on ““Whoa!” Wednesday

  1. There is kids at achurch that go to christian colleges and they say thats all they wear.At least they call them pj’s. I wish more teachers were as consisted as you mostly when you hadnt even got that all important first cup of coffee down. Some kids just dont know when they are in danger.

  2. Thank you, this reminded me of the time my oldest though I was to old to remember when I was in schoold and try to convince me that his teachers (high school) gave no homework and no test. So I play along with him till the dreaded three week progress reports came out. Need I say more.

  3. Thanks for that! I laughed so hard when I read it, I had to share it with momma. She was laughing too… she said she wants names. Thanks for sharing… I always look forward to reading your blog.

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