“you wouldn’t look good like that”

Today, my students had a “good” day. I put that in quotations because it was a good day for them and what works for us as a classroom community. Someone else might enter my classroom and say it was a “bad” day.

Despite their good day, they were more chatty than normal. And, not just chatty. They were humming, buzzing, tapping pencils, singing, talking, and moving. Constantly.

It was my last section of teaching for the day, my second section of Writing. I was trying desperately to get their attention, which can be a struggle at times because I am not much for raising my voice. I thank God everyday for my mic I wear.

“Class, class?”

(No “Yes, yes,” in response.)

“Fifth graders….”


Finally, I started to just sadly laugh and put my head in my hands and say, “You guys……”

They looked at me, not completely quiet, but noticing that I was frustrated.

I said, calmly, “You guys, let’s please quiet down. You are making me feel like I’m going to pull my hair out.”

They looked at me funny. “What?”

“I said, you are making me feel like I’m going so crazy that I’m going to pull my hair out.” I was surprised they had never heard the phrase.

They looked at me, pondering this. Usually, I get a few that will say, “I’m sorry,” or, “You guys, come on she’s waiting for us,” or “Okay, we will stop.” But today, they didn’t say any of these things. All they had to respond to my consideration of my pulling my hair out was:

“You wouldn’t look good like that. You would be bald.”

I opened my mouth to say something, but instead I just put my head down and took a deep breath and smiled. How am I supposed to respond seriously to this? I said, “Let’s get started. We are behind.”

These are the moments that truly remind me why I am a teacher.

Should’ve they been ready? Yep.

Should’ve they heard me the first time? Yep.

Should’ve I got mad? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.

What I do know, is that it wasn’t life or death.

And, sometimes, the best cure for anything is to simply laugh.

love always, caitlin

I am participating in the 15th Annual SOL 2022 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.


4 thoughts on ““you wouldn’t look good like that”

  1. Of course you would laugh. It’s so funny that they didn’t seem to know the idiom, “pulling my hair out,” but also funny is their comment! This slice captures a great moment. You sound like you are having a great time with your class.


  2. Oh wow, this sounds like soooo many moments of my day! I don’t raise my voice either and it can take awhile for my chatty groups to settle down. And I’m pretty sure what looks like a good day for a couple of my classes would be considered a bad day by someone else. But we’ve figured out what works for us. I love the humor in your piece.


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