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I Should Have Waited

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I help monitor 4 lunch shifts each day. It’s a busy and often loud time but it allows me to see every kid in the school, preK-5. I’m not gonna lie, my feet are tired by the time the last shift is over at 1:15. So, I could blame my mess-up on the fact that I was tired or that I was just plain ready-to-be-done.

But neither of these reasons excused what I did.

The last lunch shift was almost over. Let’s say it was about 1 o’clock. And a student came up to me to ask a question. He should have raised his hand before leaving his seat. Trust me, I am rather lenient when it comes to lunch rules but this one is important. If students leave their seats whenever they want, chaos ensues. Anyway.

He proceeded to ask me if I have any tape.


Who am I, friggin’ Johnny Scotch Tape over here?

I am sure I wasn’t as polite as I could have been, should have been. I told him that I didn’t have any and that he could check in the office. And as he turned to walk towards the office, he slid his feet in what I thought was an attempt to get attention from his peers. I wasn’t having it. I told him to walk right!

And he did.

And it was then that I noticed that his shoes had fallen apart. That was why he wanted the tape. That was why he was sliding his feet instead of picking them up off the ground.

I apologized immediately. But I had messed up. I should have waited.

This wasn’t the first time I have spoken too soon and I am sure it won’t be the last. If I had made this mistake 5 years ago, before hosting My Bad and before hearing from amazing educators who have made similar mistakes, I would have chastised myself for weeks.

This time was different. Trust me, I still felt bad. But I know that beating myself up over an innocent mistake serves no purpose. I now know that I am not alone.


* On a similar note, I just published the book, My Bad: 24 Educators Who Messed Up, Fessed Up and Grew! There is an entire section of the book dealing with educators that put their foot in their mouth, just like me.


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Jon is currently the assistant principal in Dorchester County, Maryland. This is his seventh year serving as an assistant principal at the elementary level. Prior to becoming an administrator he served as a Math Coach and an elementary school teacher. During his ten years as a classroom teacher he taught first, second, fourth and fifth grades. During his sixth year teaching he earned Nationally Board Certification, which he held for ten years. For seven years he ran a Young Gentleman's Club that was aimed at helping young men reach their full potential.  

Jon received a B.A. from Furman University while majoring in Philosophy. He later went on to earn his B.S from Salisbury University while majoring in Elementary Education. Jon was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to student teach in New Zealand. He eventually received his M.A. degree from Salisbury University in Public School Administration.

Jon lives in Cambridge, Maryland with his amazing wife and two awesome children.

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Guest Monday, 15 July 2019