October 25, 2012

Benton City vs. St. Louis- Part Two

In part two of this comparison, I'd like to give you a window into my daily interactions with students...

#2- Students and their...manners...
In St. Louis, my title was "Ma'm." This went for anytime a kid was speaking to me, especially when they were in trouble. The first time a child called me that I thought to myself, "Holy s*&t, I'm an adult." I was right out of college and had to act older than I felt, but I'll admit, I got used to that feeling really quick. I looked to (and felt like) Anne Shirley, out of her element, yet determined to succeed. I had my fair share of Anne moments, and while I never had a snake put in my desk or hit a student, there were times when I would just vedge in front of "Anne of Green Gables" and shout, "That's right L.M. Montgomery! You got it right!! Anne, you take that little girl DOWN!" I'm glad I had that trilogy to fall back on in times of trouble.

Here in Benton City, before students knew my name (which I've always felt is a bit lazy on their part- I memorize 150 names in two weeks, and you can't learn just one? Sigh...), my title was "Teacher." I now understand that to be an honorable title in the Hispanic community here. The first time I heard that, I honestly thought of the scene when John Keating from "Dead Poet's Society" is introducing his students to the poem, "Oh Captain, my Captain!" To be called "Teacher" is just such a lovely acknowledgement of my work, akin to a military title, but with more love. It's a difficult sensation to explain.

The way students dress is also very different. I mean, I went from the inner city...
My favorite saying from St. Louis? "I gotta use it, Ms. Labrie!!"

Ah, uniforms, they flatter every body type like a bicycle helmet flatters every head shape.

to the country...
My favorite saying from Benton City? "YOLO."

This may be from spirit week, but camo, cowboy hats and boots are familiar sights at school...
And now that it's election time? Boy, do I get to know what my students' parents really think...because, you know these middle schoolers really haven't got a clue about current events. They're just parroting back what their parents say and believe. I've heard some interesting opinions about race, sex, gender, and politics that I KNOW did not formulate in the mind of an eleven-year old.

Let me make it simple for you- 
St. Louis

Benton City
Oh, America- how the heck do you stick together with such differences? It's a beautiful thing.

And to end today's post on a most awesome note...for your viewing pleasure...

Oh my freaking goodness.


  1. oooo, I can't look at that last photo for too long. Andy will notice :o) Anne of Green Gables always reminds me of being sick and getting to stay home from school :o)