Q's Personal Legend

"When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream," said the alchemist, echoing the words of the old king. The boy understood. Another person was there to help him toward his Personal Legend.

-- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

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Location: Georgia

I teach Social Studies at a Georgia high school.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Adapt. Evolve.

I said a curse word in 4th period today. In front of all the students and, yes, they were all listening to me.

It may be hard to imagine but summers in Georgia are hot. In fact, the past several weeks have hit 100 easily. One might think the students would be glad to walk into my classroom which is set at reasonable and cool 70-72 degrees.

No.

Instead I hear much whining and complaining about the temperature: "I'm cold." "It's freezing in here." "Can we please turn off the a/c?" I realize that they have less body fat than I do. But, really! There is one teacher in my school who literally has a meat locker. I have been in there. I swear it is at 65 degrees. 72 is not that bad when you keep things in perspective!

So I have listened to two weeks of this crap. My 4th period is my largest class and it is right after lunch. When I open the classroom door after lunch the temp on my digital thermometer I bought from Kmart typically reads 71.5. Once the bodies get in the room it quickly jumps to 74. Our a/c units are pathetic--its all or nothing. My students do not have a seating chart yet, so they have chosen their seats. I think the ones who get cold easily chose the coldest areas of the room.

Today I snapped. After 40 minutes of whining I said this:
"Give me a break. I am tired of your whining. This is my classroom. I spend every day, all day in this room. You are only present for an hour and 25 minutes. Get over yourself. I have sweaters in the front of the room that I purposely brought for those of you who get cold easily. If I get hot I become a bitch and you will definitely know it. So, get over yourself."
They were stunned. But they stopped complaining.

I told a colleague about my 'oops.' She told me a story about a collab situation earlier last week when all of the World History classes got together to do an activity on prehistory. One teacher was discussing evolution. He mentioned that the theory implied that humans have evolved and adapted to new situations (yes, we are so politically correct). Then, he proceeded to tell them, if you think it is too cold in here--Adapt. Evolve. Layer up. Bring a sweater. I thought that was great. Now all the World History teachers are constantly saying, "Adapt." "Evolve."

I think tomorrow I am going to put up a sign that carries that sentiment but with a twist.

Many prospective employers appreciate flexibility in challenging situations. Challenge yourself. If you feel that it is too cold in here.

Adapt.

5 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

I love that idea!

When my students say "It's cold in here," I say, "I need a new car."

They eventually learn to say, "Miz G, will you turn up the air conditioning?" If it is reasonable, I will. I just can't stand the no-solution whining.

10:06 PM  
Blogger ms. whatsit said...

Your story reminds me just how relative temperature.

In my neck of the woods, kids come to school wearing shorts when it's 30 degrees.

9:56 PM  
Blogger elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Those oops situations happen to all of us from time to time. However, if I said bitch, even speaking about myself, the five o'clock news would be on me like white on rice.

Since you are in high school it's easier for it to slide. Mostly because they hear and see worse and have you ever heard the some coaches talk? How do they always get by with it?

4:59 PM  
Blogger Q's Personal Legend said...

heh! That reminds me of the time I coached the Academic Decathlon team. I was frustrated and trying to get them on board, but my words werent stern enough. One of the team members said, "Aww, you are a coach, just go ahead and cuss. We can take it!" I laughed! I didnt coach a sports team!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

I have a green, framed sign I found at TJMaxx, of all places, that says, "No Whining". I just point and say, "See the green sign?"

You're much nicer than I am.

3:09 PM  

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