As I walked into teacher training this morning it was like a breath of fresh air. Everything was in it's proper order. The admin were busily trying to figure out how to connect their Powerpoint and hook up their microphone as the secretaries piled up all the first of year handouts. The veteran teachers congregated around their usual back tables. The PE teachers made sure to get to school on time for the only time of the year to ensure their seats on the soft cozy leather couches. The eager beaver over achiever teachers took their seats in the front two tables with a blank note pad, two sharpened pencils and smiles from ear to ear. I took my usual seat in the middle closer to the veteran but clearly not at their table.... but I'll get to that in a second.
As the Principal started making the same introduction speech I've heard 7 or 8 times I began to slouch down in my seat with a smile on my face because I knew I brought everything I needed to survive this 8 hour day: my phone, my laptop, snacks, water, and a map of LA county to plan out Joan and I's entire Fall Break vacation. Things were going according to plan until while half listening to the first day back presentation with the same voices, the same jokes, the same concerns from the same teachers.... it happened. Something new. Something different. I perked up in my seat to see how in the world this happened. Maybe I was mistaken? I looked left and then I looked right. Could it really be? Did a brand new teacher really just make a comment? And not just make a comment, actually raise her hand and tell a story with some type of confidence that people at that meeting actually wanted to hear it? All sorts of questions raced through my head as I squirmed in my seat, "Where did this girl come from?" "Who does she think she is?" "Where did she grow up?" But really the main question that kept running through my head over and over again as I watched her mouth keep moving and I can assume words coming out but I'm not sure because all I could hear over and over in my head was "How does she not know????"
The rest of the meeting I was in a state of total shock. I just couldn't wrap my head around this idea. The idea that this brand new teacher.... a teacher that clearly has had some type of formal training.... that clearly had to have some type of qualifications and some type of social awareness to get hired... The idea that this girl did not understand or wasn't going to follow the unspoken but very important rules of being a freshman.
I thought everyone knew the proper etiquette and rules of being a Freshmen but clearly this girl.... well maybe she didn't play high school sports??? or maybe she was homeschooled??? or the worst, maybe she attended a junior high as a freshman??? I mean really those are the only logical explanations on how this catastrophe could have happened. So just in case you, like this girl, never learned the proper place of a freshmen here are the rules.
1. Never sit where it looks popular to sit.
2. Never speak in a group unless spoken to.
3. Never think your opinion matters. ever.
4. Never assume that anyone cares about you.
5. But always care about others.
6. Be super nice, let the veteran teacher in front of you in the snack line or hand him the last Diet Coke.
7. Once you've formed a friendship quietly ask he/she lots of questions because
8. Knowledge is power.
But the most important thing a freshman can do.... well don't do. But same thing. Anyways, whatever you do, don't suck up to the admin in front of the group.
Now I am sorry if these rules sound harsh. They kinda are when written out. But someday you'll thank me. So the next time you get called to a new calling or move to a neighborhood or have your first day in prison.... by knowing the rules.... at least you know you won't get shanked. :)