Saturday, October 1, 2011

Calling Grandmother Willow

I work with a lot of different women.  Different styles, different backgrounds, varying ages.  I remember years ago when I was one of the young ones.  Nowadays I'm one of the "middle" ones.  Which means to a third of my fellow teachers, I'm an old lady.  Anyone who is younger than me views me as an elder.

I do not think I look like an elder.  More than once someone has commented  "you must have had your son when you were 12".  Nice comment, but it makes me wonder who they are trying to impress.

But back to being a member of the mature set.  Because I am mature and experienced I am sure about many things.  I've past the "wondering" stage.  I am sure. And that is a secure, welcoming feeling.

This week there was an issue on campus involving one of the young ones.  It had been building since, well, the first day.  It seemed everyone was waiting.  Waiting for administration to take control and fix it.  Or maybe waiting for it to come to a head and someone lose their cool and handle it,  albeit in a wrong way. It just needed to be addressed.

Therein comes the tale of the Old Lady.  FInding myself alone with the young one, and sitting patiently as she began her teaching moment........... I thought for a split second, I gathered my maturity, I felt good about it and so I just went for it.  I was calm and mature and channeled Grandmother Willow.  I carefully but firmly gave the young one a lesson in professionalism, in knowing your place on campus, on working with other women.  I gave her the actual words to say to a parent.  I gave her in no uncertain terms how to behave, when to keep her mouth shut.  I warned her that if behavior continued she was headed for a call to the Headmaster's Office.

More than once I'd hear words come out of my mouth that I had not even given thought to!  I felt like I was Grandmother Willow.  Or Dr. Phil.  And older, wiser, experienced one.

The young one was defensive, as I expected.  Who wouldn't be?   But she did not storm off.  She did not start crying. Oh yes, she was shocked and stunned that I offered my wisdom.  I'm sure that at the moment she did not appreciate it.  Still I know that in years to come she will remember and hopefully heed the words.

Because this happened on a Thursday afternoon, we've only had one day on campus together since.  I don't know if my advice will do any good. Time will tell.

But for just a brief shining moment it felt good to be in control.  To be SURE.

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