Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Slice of Life - Almost Famous

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers

My husband often jokes with me that being a teacher in our small community is a glimpse into being famous. I thought of that on Sunday when I went to a local hardware store. As I was checking out the high school boy asked me to spell my last name. I did and he looked up saying, “Are you that Mrs. So….”

I replied, “Mrs. Sokolowski? You mean the teacher? Yes.”

Turns out I am currently teaching his sister in reading. He and I talked for a minute and I left.

Yesterday I took my students to the middle school for their tour. It is always so interesting to see how huge the fifth graders appear in our building but how tiny when next to the 6th-8th graders. We began in the gym with a concert from the 6th graders and then moved on as the 7th graders split us into classes and took us around the school. Each stop would bring a shout of, “Mrs. S!” and hugs, quick conversations in hushed voices so I wouldn’t interrupt the tour, and then waves to other students as we moved on.

Last night ended at the ballpark. Both Luke and Liam had little league games at diamonds adjacent to each other. I began at Liam’s game and was watching it when I noticed the same kids passing behind me repeatedly. I glanced at them but didn’t recognize them. From their conversation that I could overhear they were apparently fourth graders. One was informing the other that yes, I was “that Mrs. Sokolowski.” “That teacher who loves books.” They discussed with each other that they hoped I was in their class. On the final pass by, I waved and then moved on to Luke’s game.

Luke’s field has students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th playing so I had many of my students around. After having so many of them come to say hello and give me a hug, a mother in the stands asked who I was. I explained that I taught fifth grade and she recognized my name. She immediately asked if I was the teacher who helped kids love reading. When I said I thought I was whom she was talking about she began asking for advice for her sons.

I’ve never wanted to be famous. I remember as a kid I had friends who wanted to be actresses or sports stars. I never wanted that, mainly because I didn’t want to leave my small town. And I’m still here but I guess you can be well known where you are. And this kind of fame? I’ll take it. I have to admit, when I’m running in the grocery store in workout clothes I sometimes think, “Please don’t let me run into anyone.” And those are the almost guaranteed times I’ll run into ten people. But more often I have the benefit of kids giving me hugs, older kids telling me they wished they could still be in my classroom, or parents asking for advice or thanking me for helping their children love reading. So yes, anonymity doesn’t exist when you live and teach in a tiny town, but the benefits are awesome.

Also, I have a book giveaway going on through tomorrow night. Please click HERE if you would like to enter!