The Running of the Teachers

(In informant’s description of the tradition, “you” refers to the interviewer. Informant’s actions are in italicized parentheses.)

Well, me and you started the whole “running of the teachers” thing… where, like, right before parent-teacher conferences, we’d just sit outside the Writing Center and watch all the teachers go down to, like, the gym or the cafeteria, wheeling their little spinny chairs down the hall. And, yeah, just every time there were conferences after school, we’d be there, like, yelling words of encouragement to the teachers and, like, making tunnels for them and stuff. And then by the spring conferences junior year, it spread so the teachers knew about it, right? Like, your history teacher came up to us and asked us about it, so that was cool. And then senior year, all the teachers knew about it, like, one of the new English teachers asked us if we were going to do the running of the teachers the day of the fall conferences. Yeah, and then that year we, like, expanded it to also making care packages for some of the English teachers… with, like, tissues and hand sanitizer and candy and personalized water bottles… (laughs) yeah, they really appreciated that. ’Cause before, like junior year, we just, like, stalked one of the teachers to her table and made her signs and stuff… and she was kind of mad, but, no, she laughed. But, yeah, senior year, we, like, made them care packages and we finally got to wheel down one of the teachers in a spinny chair, and that was awesome. And then your, like, AP Euro teacher or something, right, she was really sad that we wouldn’t be there to do running of the teachers this year? Yeah, so I guess we started, like, a thing that spread to all the teachers.


Background (from interviewer):

My informant is a good friend from high school, and a fellow “English nerd.” She was very close with many teachers, particularly English teachers and those who ran the Writing Center. She is a talented writer, and is now an English Education major at her university. She and I used to regularly stay after school and work in the Writing Center, which allowed us to bond with many of the teachers and witness (and later take part in) their preparations for parent-teacher conferences.



This tradition indicates my informant’s (and my) bond with our teachers and desire for them to like us. My informant, especially, as an aspiring teacher and fellow “teacher’s pet,” found it important to show her appreciation for her teachers, and liked to form friendships with them. This is evident in the friendliness and care that out tradition showed for our teachers, and in the casual conversations in which they would let us know that they knew (and looked forward to) our tradition.