How Teachers Name Their Own Babies

Mamacita says:  Teachers have a hard time choosing names for their own babies because every name in creation represents a student who behaved like a ______ and told us to _________ and tried to get away with ________ and had a parent who _______ and was responsible for a lot of tears and trembling and high blood pressure.

There are certain names that represent nothing but negativity and certain names that represent smiles and wonderful memories.

I named my own children for book characters.

I’m promising you – there are few, if any, names on this earth that don’t conjure up at least one memory of at least one student. I know I crossed some once-loved names off my list forever. Fortunately, my list of “when pigs fly” names was short, and my list of “maybe because of the love” names was a lot longer.

In the end, though, the book people won out.

It’s sad, too, that there are a few really nice names that not a single awesome kid had, and these names represent a lot of bread-kneading-because-it’s-therapy moments, as in, you give the lump of dough a name and then you beat the every-loving ___ out of it. Things we’d never in a million years say or do or even consciously think about a real student but, well, there ya go. Ditto with a small handful of parents. And administrators. Safe outlets.

I have been very fortunate that the wonderful people far outnumbered the not-so-wonderful people in my career. Thanks to my wonderful people for that. (My own kids still laugh about the way I used to get home from school and almost immediately blast a certain student to smithereens with a video game so primitive we used to give it sound effects with our voices.)

The sound a goat makes still reminds me of that student.  “Maaaaaaaaa” was his usual response to anything.  Go figure.

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