In order for me to succeed in teaching those teenage boys, I need some, too. Last Sunday night, on the court, in the middle of our basketball game after I scored, I mentioned that I thought that my students would behave better if they knew that I could throw actually throw the ball into the basket. But there wasn't anyone around who could tell them.
A few years earlier, some students handed me a basketball near the hoop in the courtyard near the school building. Miraculously, my first try made it in. But those kids graduated a few years ago, so my prowess is unknown.
I teach in an all-boys high school, and this year was begun with a two-day school trip. This was no "look through the windows of the bus ride." They take real hikes to show who's tough. It seems like the teachers (the male teachers, since we ladies are exempt/not invited) did a great job, since the kids were ready to study when they returned.
I've been trying to get to know my students, since most are new to me. And they also have to get to know who and what I am. My job is harder, since I think many of them have been warned about my peculiarities, while nobody has told me things I should know about the "darlings."
While I was teaching one of my classes, my jaw began to bother me. One of my students noticed strange movements in my mouth:
"Mrs. Teacher, do you have a candy in your mouth?"
"No. I got hit by a basketball on my chin and it knocked my jaw a bit."
"Basketball? Mrs. Teacher, do you play basketball?"
"Do you play well?"
They gave me a "look." It meant, if you're playing at your age, then you must be at least "not bad." The "respect" seemed to increase.
I just hope they don't want me to demonstrate my skills.