Thursday, July 1, 2010

Squirrels Have Squirrels (# 24)

Gerry, the mentor that I mentioned earlier, would often say, "Squirrels have squirrels" shortly after certain parents left the school. Most of know this phrase better as, "The apple doesn't fall  far from the tree."

I don't know why Gerry used squirrels instead of apples, but I like it. I use it now on occasion to explain a student's behavior. Before teaching, I would not have understood the sentiment.

I can remember the first squirrels that I recognized. In my first year teaching, I had a student I will call Bill. Bill was sloppy, disorganized, disheveled, and not really interested in school work. My partner teacher and I called a meeting with Bill's parents. We'd met Mom already and knew her to be nothing like her son. We were perplexed. Until Dad walked in.

Dad was a larger version of Bill. They were like twins (except for the 30 year age gap). Now I got it.

Now, after 14 years in education, I understand squirrels. I have learned to work with squirrels. I have learned to value meeting them and listening to them.

Of course, my own mini-squirrels are now running around. I wonder how long it will be until some teacher meets me and thinks, "Oh, now I get it. Squirrels have squirrels."

Day 24 of my month of blog-a-day (Spilling Ink 6 posts remaining. Ok, so I am a little bit behind. I've been kind of busy (and stressed, but more on that later).