"What language do they be usin'?"
Also making me want to stab my brain with a sharpened Q-tip are some of the inane comments I get about the fact that I look like I'm concealing a small country under my shirt. My "favorite" comes from The Little House on the Prairie Lady (I swear to God, this woman is unreal... She looks like she's out of another freaking time period and well past her sell-by date at that). This is what she feels she has to say every time she sees me:
"Haven't you had that baby yet?"
The last time she said this, I decided to change my response from a polite, smiling "not yet!" to "Actually, I DID have the baby, this is all me now. Got to lay off those donuts." Another teacher nearby snorted and I went on my merry way.
I've stopped being polite altogether when my one student keeps asking over and over to "touch the baby". I've told him to stop asking to touch me because it's getting kinda creepy. I'm not crossing a line in sensitivity... This kid tries to smell teachers' hair and clothing. I've tried many, many times to approach the subject carefully so as not to hurt his feelings, but at the end of the day, maybe it just takes a little tough love to get this kid to avoid being arrested some day in the future.
Speaking of which, a colleague of mine saved a newspaper clipping reporting the arrest of a student I used to have. I don't read the small local papers, so I've probably missed plenty of others like it. At least he wasn't one that I felt I had "saved", which would have depressed me even more. It was an article that was a few months old, so he's already back in school (he's 19 and still hasn't got all his credits, but at least he hasn't given up!!)
I often think about the ones who were removed from school or dropped out and wonder how they're doing.