I Should Have Waited

Photo taken by Arwan Sutanto

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.

I will do better next time.


*If you want to read a short book about other educators who have made big mistakes and grew from them, click the image below. Trust me, you’ll learn that you’re not alone. In fact, you’ll find that you’re in good company.

*There is a actually an entire section of the book devoted to educators who spoke too soon, instead of waiting.









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