Not my circus, not my monkeys.

A few weeks ago, I was extremely upset with some things that had been happening in the world around me. And I was FRUSTRATED! I felt that I had to jump immediately into the situation and fix everything that was happening. Seeing my struggles, one of my very good friends told me, “Jayden, you need to remember ‘not my circus, not my monkeys.'” I thought about this for a while and that is true, on many points, but what about for a teacher. During what situations are teachers supposed to say this is not my problem? Can teachers even say that when it comes to their students?

There are so many situations that all of us future teachers are going to face someday that will most likely be a challenge for us and make us want to run and hide, but do we not have a responsibility to our students to learn how to be able to handle some situations that we may not know what to do about.

That got me really thinking about different situations and how a teacher would handle them. There were many times when I was in high school that I would be struggling with math class and I would ask my band teacher or my english teacher for help because my math teacher was somewhat unapproachable. My teachers never once told me that it wasn’t their class so it was not their problem. They would either try to help me figure out what I was struggling with so much or they would give me advice on how to approach it with my other teacher.

There were also times in high school when sometimes I would be having trouble with my personal life and my teachers noticed that I was not performing to my best ability in school or that I did not seem to be acting myself during class time. During times like this, at least one of my teachers would pull me into their classroom after class and try to find out what was going on in my world that was affecting me so negatively. Even though they could have thought, “well that is her problem, not mine” or “that is something the guidance counselor should deal with,” they didn’t. They all cared enough about their students that they were willing to help, even if that meant taking time out of their lunch period or sitting with us after school to listen to us vent or cry about something.

As teachers, we should care about our students, even when it does not directly deal with what you are doing in your classroom. We should want students to succeed in all of their classes and help them in any way that we can. We should care about our students’ home lives because that always has an affect on how they are performing in schools.

In conclusion, some people may be able to say “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” but I honestly do not think that teachers (or future teachers in my case), are wired that way. We care about the well being of those around us and by nature want to be able to help people in what ever way we can.


2 thoughts on “Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  1. Evening, Jayden. The good teachers aren’t quick to pass the buck, and the bad ones are quick to run. I get the sense that there’s this line of demarcation in student issues. At what point are schools overstepping their bounds into the personal lives of students?


  2. I like your thoughts here. I do wonder if the line drawn between teachers and students, the boundary between personal and professional, gets in the way of this sometimes. In a smaller school it is easier for this to happen, everyone knows everyone, but I think it is harder in larger schools. I have been in both settings, and a lot of times the teachers in the bigger schools wouldn’t care about the things that were deemed personal. Do you think the differences have to do with the setting?


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