Monday, May 9, 2011

Adventures in Substitute Teaching: Check your body image issues at the door.

Part of the fun of substitute teaching is that you really never know exactly what you’re going to be doing from one hour to the next. Last week, I found myself leading an interesting hour in a Junior High Health class. I can’t wait to tell you this story.

I entered the classroom and read the lesson plans to discover that the students were scheduled to complete vocabulary and reading exercises for the ‘Pre Natal Care’ chapter. I looked out at the expectant classroom of students and wondered if there would be any questions.

Sure enough…..

The students are busy reading and answering vocabulary questions when I over hear a small group of girls talking about having babies.

“I can’t wait to have a baby! Maybe 3 or 4! I already know what I’m going to name my baby. Can you believe it says to exercise while you’re pregnant? I’m just going to sit around and eat all the time. I don’t want to work or exercise or anything. My husband can just bring me stuff.”

(At this point, I’m just glad there’s a husband in the conversation at all.)

Then, the inevitable happens.

Girl Student: “Mrs. Sassy, did you exercise while you were pregnant? Did you run a mile? Did you work?”

(I’m thinking to myself how wonderful it is that we’re covering the ‘Pre Natal Care’ chapter and not the ‘How to make a baby’ chapter.)

So, I was more than happy to answer the Junior High Girls questions about pre natal care. I stand up, take a deep breath, and begin my short monologue regarding my experiences with pre natal care.

“Girls, before I got pregnant, I weighed about 140 pounds and looked something like this (held up a picture of me from high school). I made the conscious decision to not exercise much during either of my pregnancies. I ate whatever I wanted to, and spent a great deal of time on bed rest due to the high risk multiple pregnancy. I still haven’t lost my baby weight, and my babies are almost 13 years old. I now look like this.” (I stand up tall, arms spread at the front of the classroom.)

All I hear is a giant horrified *gasp* from the students. (girls & boys)

Followed by an unusually long awkward silence. ** tweet, tweet, chirp, chirp **

Then, one small female whisper from the back of the classroom, “I’m never getting pregnant.”

Followed by a chorus of young females in agreement.

Then, the ultimate testimony. One female student whispers, “I think I’ll run two miles this weekend.”

I think my job here is done.


  1. Bwahaha hahahaha!!! Thanks for the good laugh this morning! I always say the best birth control is to show girls our stretch marks and what we look like after having babies! ha ha!

  2. You did a wonderful service to those girls Miss Sassy! You should get some serious thank you's from not only them but their mothers as well. I'm with Amy, if all of those "oh so eager" teenage girls saw our stretch marks I bet they wouldn't be so anxious to have those babies.