Saturday, September 23, 2006

And just where would I be on a Saturday morning?

It's middle school football season again.

All of which means that Mrs. Eagle, Mrs. Drama and myself will be at nearly every game. A couple of other teachers make appearances now and then, but we're the ones that are there at nearly every game.

Which apparently freaks some people out.

This morning, after a night full of really nasty thunderstorms, rain, and tornado sirens, I made it to the game. It was damp, and grey, but still warm, and the few folks in the stands were trying to stay as dry as they could considering there wasn't a dry spot to be found. (This is where my stadium seat comes in handy.) Mrs. Eagle hadn't arrived yet, so I was sitting there, chatting with one of my moms from last year, when one of my current moms, The Queen Mother, came walking by, looking for a place to sit. Now The Queen Mother is a PTA mom with a daughter that redefines the word spoiled. As The Principal has often said, "The Queen Mother never has anything nice to say about anybody, but she's a great volunteer so we'll just suck it up and smile." Her daughter, Spoiled Princess Girl, can be trying but so far she hasn't driven me off the edge. Yet.

The Queen Mother sees me, and her mouth drops open. "What are you doing here?" she asks.
I can't tell if she's surprised or pissed off or what.

"Oh, I come to all the kids' games, " I say.

"You do?" she asks. She seems very surprised. After all, why on earth would a teacher take her free Saturday morning and spend time watching the very same kids she spends all week with play football and cheer?

Why indeed?

"Oh yeah, I try not to miss any, if possible. I like to support the players and the cheerleaders," I say. The Queen Mother, who apparently doesn't know anyone else there outside of her daughter who's cheering, sits down next to me and proceeds to chat. This surprises me. And she was actually quite nice (and stayed far away from the fact that her very smart daughter is lazy and is only getting a C in my class) which surprised me even more.

She kept getting interrupted, however, by the JV boys (who had just finished their game) who kept coming by to say hello (and to show me how muddy they were). And then the cheerleaders who came by to say hello (and complain about how muddy they were). And then some of my former parents who came by to say hello, including Stoner Boy's mom who wanted to tell me how much she appreciated me keeping in touch with her son and how much it meant to him.

And then Mrs. Eagle arrived, and Mrs. Drama arrived, and I was saved from further conversation with The Queen Mother who wandered off to get a bottle of water for her daughter, after bidding me farewell.

I'm not sure, but I think I just surprised The Queen Mother.

Which could prove to be a very interesting thing.


Mrs. T said...

You rock. I think it means so much to the kids (and obviously, the parents) when they see the teachers at the games.

Unknown said...

I started going to soccer and volleyball last year. It is really amazing how a small comment like "nice goal yesterday" or "close game, I thought you had them" can completely change their attitude toward you.

HappyChyck said...

When I taught high school, I attended most events. At the middle school where I teach, we don't have that many extra curricular things. It's nice to see my students doing the things they enjoy--attending my class isn't usually ranked that high. And it can make a big difference. A few years ago one of my quiet guys invited me to a skatingboarding competition, and then we had a sealed relationship after that. Little things like that help!

Ryan said...

The little kids are just astounded when I shop up at their soccer or baseball games. That slow look of dawning recognition is priceless.

"Hi Johnny, how are you?"

(confusion......comprehension....shock....)"MR. RAIN! What are you doing here!?!?"

"I came to watch you play, silly."

(giant smile)

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Doesn't it just blow your mind at how many teachers haven't realized the payback from attending these events? I rarely have any trouble whatsoever from any kid who sees me at his or her extra curricular event...btw, with the number of skateboarders I have, I'm surprised I haven't heard about a local competition to attend. That would be fun!