Day 6 Slice of Life Story Challenge: Story of My Life

I park my car in one of the spaces out front of the school marked ‘visitor.’ I pause. I’m never sure if this really the right place for me. I’m consulting, so I don’t belong in the ‘staff’ parking lot, but I’m not really a visitor either… this is the story of my life. I float from one school to another, not really a visitor, per se, but not part of the staff either.

As I drag my suitcase full of books through the snowy parking lot to the front entrance, parents check me out.  One woman in particular gives me a long stare as she sends her two sons into the building. It’s a small school in a small town and everyone knows everyone. She knows I’m not one of the teachers, but I can tell I’ve confused her because I so clearly look like a teacher — with two canvas bags hanging off of my shoulders full of books and chart paper, and suitcase full of things for school, she’s thinking Who is that? Is there a new teacher?

At the door of the school, I have to press the buzzer to be let in. The secretary doesn’t recognize me. “Who are you here to see?” she asks.

“K-1-2-3. It’s me, Beth, again.”

Long pause. “Which teacher?”

“All of them… I’m doing staff development today?”

She lets me in. I sign in, affix my day-glo VISITOR sticker to my skirt. I know better than to put those things on my sweaters anymore–I’ve ruined too many sweaters already.

I pause before leaving the office. I have no idea what direction to go in. I think to myself. This is the story of my life, isn’t it? Always a visitor, with no idea what direction to go in.




6 thoughts on “Day 6 Slice of Life Story Challenge: Story of My Life

  1. I SO relate to this, as I work in several buildings. While some people get to know me, there are others who just see me as a familiar face, at best. The secretaries all know me know, at lease, and I have my own key fob, so I don’t have to buzz in–could you get one of those? It helps that psychological feeling of not belonging…


  2. I am with you too. I work at my district office but still am always a visitor in every school that I go to. I have a district ID, but I still have to get those hideous neon stickers. I’m going to steal you sticker on the skirt idea. Clever!


  3. Great slice. People can easily stand out–as outsiders to a certain degree–in a school. Schools try so hard to be warm, familiar places…always on alert. Right? Our rabbit ears are always up for something or someone new or different or unknown.

    And let’s not breeze by the fact that not every professional in the building is thrilled to see someone coming in to run a PD session…but that may be a slice for another day.


  4. “Always a visitor, with no idea what direction to go in.” I believe you do have a direction – one in which is essential to enhancing the pedagogy of all educators – you offer fresh ideas, passion, instructional strategies, and new perspectives. You are most welcome in the realm of academia 🙂 Thank you!


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