I've told you mine
I come from a long line of salty-tongued women. We swear. I'm not talking Jerry Springer "eff this, and eff that, you effing effer eff face" kind of swearing. No, I'm talking about the much more refined art of peppering one's talk with some candid language.
Having said that, I am very careful about what I say in front of my children, although as they are getting a bit older, I've been known to let a few hells and damns loose- especially in traffic. I can't help myself.
I have also always chosen my words very carefully in the classroom. Under the watchful eyes of teenagers, I check my zipper and watch my language almost obsessively. (I'm also pretty good about spinach in the teeth, smeared eye makeup and anything that may remotely be misconstrued as a booger.)
But, I am human, and so are my colleagues, and, I'm guessing, so are you. Every once in a while, things fly out one's mouth and would that we were robots, we could rewind and erase them. But we are not. I was telling my students why I hate pinatas. I was getting to the part about not wanting to be in a room where blindfolded kids whack the hell out of something and in my mind, a voice was screaming, "Say heck! Say heck! Say heck!" and , I said hell.
These are my colleague's stories, which are much better than mine, so I told mine first.
At parent conferences, a parent approached my colleague and said, "We don't appreciate your swearing at the students in class." My colleague, bewildered, asked what she meant. "Little know-it all Daughter claims you said the "b" word."
"Oh! I know what she's referring to! The kids had played a game and were just horrible, so the next day I told them that because they had bitched and moaned so much, we wouldn't be playing any more review games."
"Well!", sniffed the mother, "WE do not talk like that at our house and my daughter was very offended by that."
Now, I personally wouldn't ever SAY "bitched and moaned" to my students in reference to their behavior, but in the grand scheme of things, this really wasn't that bad, and if Little Miss Prissy Pants is going to get her undies all in a wad about that, she will not survive. I guess the thing that bothers me about this situation is the "I'm going to tell on my teacher" mentality. If this were a teacher who repeatedly, day after day, swore at her students, then I would say yes, this is a situation that needs to be addressed. But this? Come on.
Another colleague was reading a student the riot act for coming in late for the 20th time this term, and instead of getting right to work, he pulled out 3 cans of pop and a BOX of Ho-Ho s. And proceded to eat them. Until his teacher yelled "What are you doing?!! If I were you, I'd be thinking 'Shit! I'm already late, I really need to come in and get to work so I don't get in even more trouble! I'd be thinking I need to do some work so I can pass this class!" His response? "I was hungry!" Ok, Spiccoli, why don't you go visit Mr. Hand down the hall? After her rant, my colleague did turn to the rest of the class and ask "Did I just swear? Sorry."
I've heard tales about teachers completely lose it and let all kinds of stuff fly. I've heard of coaches who really give it to their players.
What are your tales? I know you've got some good ones.