Thursday, May 2, 2013

Too Popular?

For years, before teaching, I worked in after school programs and kindergarten enrichment.  I did this for 15 years and had the same
kids from K-6 along with their older or younger siblings.  You really get to know kids and their families this way. Now, when subbing, I go into a school and kids know me well.  By my first name.  Not only that, but they want hugs, high fives, special dances, sharing of inside jokes, etc.  If they see me, they run out of lines or jump out of their desks and come running into the hallway.  Or, come running down the hall yelling my name and JUMP into my arms.  While I love that they miss me and are so excited to see me.  I have noticed that some teachers aren't so happy about their little guys yelling my name as I walk by the classroom during their spelling test.

I always tell the kids to wait and come see me at lunch or recess, but it doesn't seem to work.

I have also noticed that some administrators, who weren't around during my many years, are giving somewhat concerned looks as well.

I don't want to get a negative reputation because of this.  I know that in the after school program world, if a leader is very popular, it is often because they let the kids do whatever they wanted and were often VERY unprofessional.  More like a kid than an adult.  I am NOT that way.  I always ran my program like a classroom with strict discipline expectations with a fair mix of organized fun and education.  I feel I connect with kids on a special level and that is what makes me popular, but that doesn't come across in this situation. 

Hmm, what to do?  I hope that my skills speak to my strength as a teacher because I really do try to treat each job like a day long job interview.


  1. I completely relate to this.
    I've never had kids jump at me for hugs, but there are a couple schools where kids will yell my name down the hallway when they see me coming.
    I have the same fear that the administration will assume that this is because I let them get away with stuff, which is not the case.

  2. I have literally known some of these kids since they were born, because of older siblings coming to the program. So they feel super comfortable with me and some know me outside the school setting. I guess I don't discourage it as much as I should becasue I just miss those little guys.