Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

Check in often, or subscribe to get headlines fed to you! Oh, and the views expressed here are not those of anyone but me.  And anyone who happens to share the same views, I guess.

(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Not-So-Friendly Skies

San Antonio, TX


Somebody didn’t get enough sleep last night!  And I’m not talking about me (although I didn’t, of course.)  Our flight attendant woke up and put on her grumpy pants this morning.


My first flight was delayed this morning because the crew got in late last night and federal regulations stipulate a certain amount of rest for them.  I suppose that’s a good idea, but unfortunately it means that I’ll get home five hours later tonight.  (It was looking like ten hours later until I pressed the ticket agent and stood waiting for her to figure it out for over 30 minutes.  And then I had to listen to country music blaring throughout the terminal for an hour and a half.  Okay, maybe I’m a little grumpy, too.)


I’ve never had a flight attendant be quite so snippy, though, while asking people to turn off phones and stow carry-ons.  She said to the people in the exit row, “don’t you realize that everyone on this plane is depending on you?  You need to listen to me!  If you want us all to get out of here on time, pay attention!”  (Quick update: we’re not on time.)  She then loudly hushed two girls who were talking quietly during the riveting safety presentation.  Ah, the friendly skies.


Unfortunately, we see some of this same behavior from teachers when kids are running in the hall, forget to turn off a cell phone, or are talking during a riveting lesson.  It happens to me occasionally, but I really work to address children’s behavior in a positive and understanding way.  We don’t have to be snippy about it; we don’t have to be rude.  We’re interacting with human beings here.


I know that being a flight attendant, a ticket agent, or a teacher can be taxing.  But for everyone’s sake, let’s put on a happier face and make the skies a little friendlier.




  1. I totally hear you...I am sometimes amazed (and appalled) at the attitudes of others in the service industry, including fellow physicians -- like they forget what the job is all about! I, on the other hand, am the consummately gracious, selfless doc who would never snap at a patient. Especially a borderline patient. I love them the most.

  2. I stumbled upon this post at a good time. I've been feeling pretty cranky lately... my 7th graders are testing my patients daily. I know that I am a lot happier when I let stuff roll off my back, rather than letting it get to me. Thanks for the reminder.

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