Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Out of Classroom Experience

A couple of weeks ago, I said good-bye to my students and wished my colleagues a pleasant summer.  Yesterday I went to the gym, then ran a couple of errands before I headed home.  I had, at least, blown my hair dry and straightened up a bit.  I have to admit, however, that with no makeup and wearing shorts I presented a decidedly less put-together image than was usual for classes.  In this casual state, I ran into a student.

"Oh. Madame. Bonjour," he said, using his usual classroom salutation.

"Hi Mark.  How are you today?" I said and reached in my purse as I prepared to pay him for my purchase.  "You work here, huh?"  When he didn't response I glanced up and found him staring at me. "Something wrong?" I asked.

"Uh, oh, uh," said my "A" student quite clearly.

And then I realized he was having the "out of classroom experience."  The rules are teachers don't supposed to show up in other parts of your life, right?  Indeed, they live in their classrooms where they do nothing but read and study in their fields.  And, above all, your French teacher talks about arts and literature; she doesn't show up at the Home Depot to buy dirt.

So, I chuckled and told him not to worry.  "When the fall semester begins, I'll be back where I belong, all neat and clean," I assured him.

Mark had recovered a little by then and laughed a little with me, and we talked about how we all see people in a certain context. Then as I left, just for fun, I did a little soft-shoe on my way out. 

I can still see the horrified look on his face.

1 comment:

Angie Eaton said...

haaaahaaa..I have been in this same position before!! It is really funny when people realize you have different roles in your life that allow you to look, dress and act in a different way than they know you.