Today I put my foot in my mouth – and not in a good way.
I went to talk to one of the APs, who was talking to our new principal. After I’d finished the business I needed to discuss, I made some comment about this year going really well, much better than last year. The principal asked why last year was difficult (a set up if i’ve ever had one) and i stepped into it and said something along the lines of “well, i had those kids.”
I got the (well deserved) frosty stare of doom, along with a declaration that she didn’t want to have any of the kids at our school referred to as “those kids”.
She’s right, of course. I was trying to use a shorthand to refer to “kids with a lot of needs that aren’t being met who respond by acting out in ways that are seen as discipline problems and end up getting dropped in the cracks of the system and whom teachers are too overwhelmed to be able to support because they’re in those same cracks”
So much for a decent first impression.
Fortunately, I have a lifetime of experience in recovering from such missteps. It helps that I actually support her opinion on that, even if I can’t express my way out of a wet paper bag.