Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Me and My Big Mouth

I don't usually do school clubs. When I'm asked to sponsor an after school club, I always say no and keep walking. I should say, I almost always keep walking.

Last week, a nice boy in one of my classes asked me to sponsor his club. I did not walk away fast enough and he said, "It is an interesting club." Here is where my big mouth got me in trouble. I had to say "What kind of club?" He hesitated and then said "Gay-Straight Alliance".

This must have been a difficult subject for him to approach me with and I decided I wanted to help. I was glad that I couldn't as I teach the period the club wanted to meet. He then asked me about another period and again, I couldn't. My college job conflicted with the time. I felt bad, told him the other days I would be available and tried to find a teacher willing to work with this club. Turns out no one wants to stay late.

Yesterday this boy approached me again. After much thought, the meeting time was changed to agree with my schedule. I am now the sponsor.

I've managed to avoid all after school jobs for over thirty years. I refuse all per session jobs. I'm not going to kill myself working now just to pad my pension for later. Since I don't want to stay late for money, I certainly won't stay late for free. While I stay late to help my students, I try never to do it officially. I've got to learn to keep my big mouth shut.


Anonymous said...

You do good to avoid per session. But you also did good to sponsor this club that (apparently) no one was willing to be the advisor for.

Check what sort of regs GSAs get caught violating, so you can help these guys avoid the problems.


17 (really 15) more years said...

When I first started teaching, I did every per session job imaginable- 2 days a week after school, Saturday school, summer school- now they beg me to do it and I always say no. I won't even do it for Regents prep- I ask them to change my extended day assignment, and if they won't work with me on that- then, oh well.

Having said that, it's good for these kids that they have you for an advisor. In middle school especially, I have watched so many young people struggle with their emerging sexuality, with no support- thank goodness that on the high school level, they are mature enough to be able to organize a support network.

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yo miss!, formerly in bushwick said...

You should read this Savage Love column--it seemed very timely:

These kids will never forget what you've done for them in terms of helping them have a safe place at this difficult time in life. You can always pass the sponsorship on to someone else once it gets going. I think you've given these kids an incredible gift. :)

Mrs. T said...

Good for you! Those kids must feel like they can trust you- and they won't ever forget it.