The Gift.

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I Have My Own Cup.  Yet, I Don’t Drink Coffee.I believe that everyone has a gift.

Sometimes these gifts are discovered at a young age, while others seem to stumble upon individuals later in life.

In a perfect world the gift you’ve been given has the ability to also make you money… like underwater welding, yodeling, or maybe even the ability to mime.

I have none of these. Mine is far more pathetic (yes, more pathetic than a mime… if that is possible).

But I believe it is a gift none the less.

At a young age, I used to watch people and try to guess what they did for a living.

Sure, it was a sad and lonely childhood, but it is the only one I had.

As I recall the easiest people to recognize were teachers. Why? Because they have a aura.

When teachers are in public, there are certain tell-tale signs that give them away.

Their tired, haggard look is always easy to spot, especially at the end of a semester.

A gleeful, upbeat smile is a dead giveaway as summer vacation approaches.

And there are other signs such as the coach who wears shorts when it is 27 degrees outside or the elementary teacher who has a collection of 8,000 sweaters with various apple designs on them.

Teachers look like teachers. You don’t have to be an expert to recognize this. You just have to be in the same room with them for 13 straight years (if all goes well and there isn’t some sort of “incident” that slows you down).

If you are lucky enough to grow up and work in a school, you may gain another skill/gift that I like to call Teacher Profiling.

This is an ability that can only be mastered after spending the 13 years of a K-12 education and another 4-7 years of college (give or take 1 to 3 years… all of which depends on your commitment level, parental funding, student loans, and total number parties attended).

After my extensive schooling and 15 years of work experience, I believe that I have mastered this second gift (I’m still looking for a gift that pays the bills).

What is Teacher Profiling? Excellent question. I am glad you asked because if you didn’t this blog would have come to an awkward and premature end.

This gift of Teacher Profiling means I can walk into any school and identify what every staff member teaches just by looking at them.

How do I do this? It is quite simple if you know what you are looking for.

PE teachers look like PE teachers.

English teachers look like English teachers.

Business teachers look like Business teachers.

Elementary teachers look like Elementary teachers.

Shop teachers look like Shop teachers.

And Administrators look overpaid (I thought I would say this before someone else did).

How do I know what they look like? It’s easy, they just do. Plus they often sit together (seldom do they go outside their species and intermingle).

I am supremely confident that I can walk into any school in the country and correctly match 80% of the teachers with their subject areas (I would say 100%, but Math and Science teachers get a little fuzzy for me).

What good is this gift of Teacher Profiling?

Honestly, it has no value whatsoever. I wish I had been born with the ability to make balloon animals. Now, that is a cool gift.

Teacher Profiling is in no way useful, beneficial, or good for society.

But, it does help me pass the time at workshops.

If you are one of the lucky few who share this gift… remember, it should only be used for good and not evil.

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9 Responses to “The Gift.”


  1. Pat
    on Oct 29th, 2008
    @ 4:00 am

    My husband says that I put my “teacher voice” on in public as I tell small children to stop running in the store or to use their indoor voices. He says I also give rude teenagers “the look” in public places which usually makes them toe the line or move very far away from me. I am wondering how you would see me since I have taught special ed for 28 years before retiring and never regretted a minute of it (teaching I mean, not retiring; of course I haven’t minded retiring either)


  2. Gina Bergman
    on Oct 29th, 2008
    @ 1:47 pm

    Ah, the gift of teacher profiling. Theoretically, I think it would be of great value to an administrator when hiring a teacher. Now I’m not so sure you can do a rubric for it, per say, but that’s why it’s a gift.
    In an interview you might say, “Thanks for coming in, but you just don’t fit the profile of an English teacher. Maybe if you would have interviewed for math I could have considered you, but I can tell by the looks of you, you won’t be improving my faculty in the English department. Did you ever want to teach math?”
    I believe in “the gift.” It’s just how you use it you must be careful with…or not, if you are evil.


  3. takini8
    on Oct 29th, 2008
    @ 6:02 pm

    Ok- but can you identify the different levels of elementary? I mean, can you tell a kindergarten teacher from a first grade?


  4. Jen
    on Nov 2nd, 2008
    @ 7:23 pm

    Ooh, I want to know the answer to takini8’s question.

    I’m student teaching in first grade and for my three observations, I was in kindergarten twice and once made it to 3rd grade (though that was in a private school and there were only 9 kids in the class — it didn’t feel like real school).

    So, I’m left to wonder if the fates have determined that I’m meant to be with the littlest ones or if I’m really a 5th grade teacher stuck in the land of the munchkins.


  5. micsmith
    on Nov 3rd, 2008
    @ 11:41 am

    It makes me sad to admit that my powers are limited.

    Telling a Kindergarten teacher apart from a 1st Grade teacher is beyond the reach of my gift.

    The confusing part is that everyone who teaches K, 1st, and 2nd have the same look… TIRED.

    The key to choosing a grade level is- ask yourself what type of restroom troubles do you want to deal with.

    That being said… stay in 5th.


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