Daily Challenge – The Lunch Break
So, as a teacher, it’s probably no surprise to you all that I look forward to my lunch break. It’s not just because it’s an opportunity to stop teaching. It’s not even, in general, because I am hungry.
It’s because it is an opportunity for conversation.
I’m not saying that my students don’t talk – they do. A lot. About heavily inappropriate things sometimes (no, please don’t tell me about the drinking party you are going to. I have to report such things to my principal when you are only 18). Make that sometimes a ‘frequently.’
I’m not saying that I don’t love my job. Most of the time it is one of the most rewarding and satisfying options I can have. I do love my work and I love making a difference for my students. It’s why I got in to teaching and I stick with it despite a crappy national attitude toward teachers. I love to teach and, from how my students are doing, I must be doing pretty well at it.
But they aren’t conversationalists. I enjoy talking with them, but it always comes back to them – and it should; this is their learning opportunity and their classroom. It makes sense for it to be about them, primarily.
But when I get to lunch, I can talk. Really talk.
I don’t sit with the ‘guy’ teachers that spend our 20 minutes talking about Football, Basketball, or whatever idiot sport is in session at the time. I don’t really care and I don’t want to spoil their fun by trying to talk about something else. Instead, I sit at the other table with a varied occupation – two science teachers, an art teacher, and two At Risk teachers.
If we all walked in to a bar, it’d be ridiculous.
And we get a chance to converse. It’s only for about 10 minutes, but it is enough for my brain. As I’ve stated before, I want to be a storyteller. Always. It’s why I write. And I need that opportunity to converse to let my mind expand and work on things. I can’t get that with my students.
You’d think we could focus our conversations on something unrelated – and for some time we do. Movies we saw over the weekend, events from last night, etc. Inevitably, because we are teachers, our conversation will go back to the students. Quite often we will discuss a problem and then propose solutions to try and help them.
You’d think we could get away from work and our kids at lunch, but we can’t. When you are in teacher mode, it takes longer than 20 minutes to break you out of teacher mode. Any teacher knows that, and I think the district’s plan it that way. You can’t get entirely out of teacher mode during lunch .
At least not without a concussion.
That might do it.
I think I’ll test it on a coworker first. Just to be sure.