I Should Have Waited


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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