Delighted to welcome back Pete Springer with an excerpt from his book They Call Me Mom. A humorous look at the excuses that are provided by students.. sometimes with the collusion of their parents!
At times, kids create humor without intending to. I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I was called “Mom” by one of my students. That is something that happened every year, especially with the younger children. It was always said unintentionally. Most times, the student would sheepishly laugh, realizing it sounded funny to be calling the teacher, “Mom.”
Instead of being somehow offended, I took this as a wonderful compliment. The idea that a teacher was like a mom to a child was a very nice comparison, even if said by accident.
However, I could not account for why they called me “Mom” more than they called me “Dad.” I’ll leave it to someone else to figure that one out. I was even called “Grandma” by one of my students. (I was about thirty-years-old at the time.) I remember telling my student in a joking manner, “If I look like your grandma, then one of us (Grandma or me) has a problem.”
Then there were the most memorable excuses that my 5th and 6th-grade students gave me for not having their homework:
#5 “Somebody broke into my dad’s car last night and stole my backpack.” (Math papers are a hot item with thieves these days.)
#4 “My mom forgot to make me do it.” (She’s been falling down on the job lately.)
#3 “My parents made me go to the movies with them, so I didn’t have time.” (Why didn’t they make me? I would have liked a night off too.)
#2 “My parents don’t allow us to do homework on ‘Family Game Night.’” (Good to know that they’ve got their priorities in order.)
#1 “I thought you were kidding.” (Yes, this sounds exactly like the kind of thing I’d joke about.)
About Pete Springer
My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over two years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.
When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.
I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!
About the book
Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.
Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)
One of the recent reviews for the book
“They Call Me Mom,” by Pete Springer is a real gem! Don’t be fooled by its easy readability; this book is jam-packed with powerful advice. What makes “They call Me Mom” so special? First, Pete Springer’s passion for teaching lights up the entire book. His core values are clearly articulated. But the real treasures in this book are revealed through thoughtful, funny, and honest anecdotes from his 30 year career.
Springer’s book is divided into the main issues faced by both new or experienced teachers: how to organize your class, work effectively with students and their families, and work collaboratively with colleagues. The chapters on frustrations and humorous events are yummy icing on the cake.
Pete Springer is not just a great teacher, he’s a natural writer. “They Call Me Mom” would make a perfect Christmas present for your teacher friends (or your kiddo’s teachers)! His blog is also a great read, with news about his successful efforts to publish, volunteer, and support educators. He tells some powerfully encouraging stories of the many reasons to be grateful in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
and: Amazon UK
Connect to Pete
Thanks for dropping in today and my thanks to Pete for sharing this side to his role as a teacher…which had its funny side at times. Sally