A Day In the Life, Dear Students

Please Don’t Grope the Art Teacher

As I’ve written before, elementary students are very hands-on, touchy-feely. I think I’ve been groped more as an elementary art teacher than I ever was during my high school and college years combined. Seriously. Take for example, the first grader who insists on grabbing my, *ahem*, derriere every time he hugs me, or the third grader who embraces me with a face plant into my, um, bosom. Or the kindergartner who needs my attention, eagerly approaches me with hands raised high and proceeds to pat me repeatedly on my, er, lady bumps. Or any of the students who feel the need to caress my legs, my hair, my arm, my foot… Or the ones who accidentally come into contact with any of my aforementioned body parts. In fact, I’ve gotten so used to kids innocently touching me in inappropriate places that it barely even phases me when random adults do it in public. Innocently or not. And don’t even get me started on the lessons perverts could learn from elementary students and their sneaky upskirt maneuvers. You know, I recall being informed in college about all the sh*t you could get into for inappropriately, both intentionally and unintentionally, touching students, but where was the lesson about the many ways in which students will violate your personal space, on a daily basis?

But I think I have an advantage over the students right now. More specifically, a big belly advantage. Now, whenever Huggy McGrabberson comes up to hug me, his face bounces off my belly and knocks him back long before those grubby hands reach my posterior. And yes, I laugh. Every. Single. Time. This almost 30-week baby bump has become quite the defense tool. Students are learning pretty quickly not to stand too close to Ms. Art Teacher. I think I’ve inadvertently taken out two first graders and a kindergartner just by quickly turning around, being unaware that they were standing so close to me, and serving them up a face-full of baby belly. In fact, just today I belly-whacked a sixth grader upside the back of the head while trying to get past his table. I think the lesson he learned far outweighed the embarrassment he displayed. When he sees me coming next time, I guarantee he’ll scootch his chair in like I requested.

Of course, this growing belly also has its disadvantages. My kindergartners have taken to rubbing it when they pass me at the door on their way into the art room. So have a few of my sixth graders. But hey, better my belly than my buttocks, right?

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One thought on “Please Don’t Grope the Art Teacher

  1. Yep I've had a few more touchy feelly moments at work..more so than at home sometimes. The weirdest was while teaching an autistic self contained class. There were 6 children and 3 adults in the room. One to two students. I got Leon. But when I turned to help Leon, he wasn't there. He had lifted up my dress and was hiding under it. I sure hope I had on my good underwear that day. Lesson learned: don't wear full skirts around mildly mentally impaired people.

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