Soup Nazi and a Better Day!

Ok…I know I may be the only one.  But there are times, especially at the beginning of the year or after holidays when I feel like I am the “soup nazi” (like from Seinfeld)…barking out orders, calling kids on everything, all day…to the point where when I go home I feel like a complete failure- like if I had been a better teacher, they wouldn’t have been acting that way. 
Now keep in mind, I don’t just act like the ‘Soup Nazi’ for no reason.  Oh, there’s a reason, baby! (insert George Costanza reference)
Anyway, it is usually because my kids are out of control…I know, I know, if I were better at classroom management, they wouldn’t be wild.  I get it.  BUT I am pretty good at management…and even then, they still just ‘act-a-fool’ sometimes.  When that happens,  the ‘Soup Nazi’ will show it’s ugly head and I am barking orders, telling people, “turn around!”..”get with your partner!”  open your book!”..and on and on.  And as I said, I just (upon reflection) at the end of the day come to terms with the fact that I a horrible teacher…and maybe I will do a better job next year.  Yeah, that’s it…There’s always next year, that’s when I will do a a really good job…not ever lose my temper…get to Science and Social Studies every day..never raise my voice…..  That’ll be great! 
Ok…not sure if that’s gonna ever happen…and
if you can’t tell, I have been the ‘Soup Nazi’ for the last two days.  Had my Stuart Smalley (SNL) moments, “I’m good enough.  I am smart enough. Gosh darnit, people like me.  And next year, I will do it right!” 
AND then…it happens.
I come to school today and my kids…after two days of ‘Soup Nazi’…just do everything right. (ok, not everything, but you get it, right?)  The class flows.  Everyone does their part. People listen.  People follow direction.  I smile.  I mean, really smile.  And I realize the Soup Nazi has a place.  At least for me, there are times, when I have to show that side…or remind kids that I possess that side.  That combined with new seating and new groupings…Voila!  My old kids are back…the ones who do pretty much everything I ask and who aren’t perfect, but at least help me to help them.
Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with my reference to Soup Nazi, here is a little help:
And for those of you who “get it” and love Seinfeld as much as I do…here is a little beefcake for you:
Ok, one of my teacher friends suggested that I am not the ‘Soup Nazi’..that I am more like Miss Viola Swamp.  I couldn’t argue with her! lol (Gotta love the book, Miss Nelson is Missing!)
That was me on Monday.
This was me today:
except as a brunette! lol


  1. There must be something in the air because my kiddos have been AWFUL this week. It's awful, trying to do these midyear assessments and their behavior is terrible for the aide who is watching my class. I love the Soup Nazi reference, Seinfeld was one of my favorite TV shows!

    Hope your kiddos stay well behaved!


  2. OMG! I'm dying laughing. I love the Seinfield references! Sometimes I feel like that crazy lady who is barking out orders too. Then I have to just laugh at myself because that's not really who I am. At that point I just take a break from being Ms. Bossy pants and try to enjoy teaching. I took the day off from assessments because I was like this yesterday!
    Rambling About Reading

  3. Two words: Indoor recess. For us, it's the worst when the rains finally come and the children are trapped indoors for too long!

    And how is it that your two words – Soup Nazi – can make me laugh out loud without any further explanation needed . . . Seinfeld stalker!! We actually got to see him do live comedy in Seattle in 1990 and he was a RIOT!

    Hang in there and thanks for the laugh! Barbara

  4. Yes, full moon it is! This week hasn't been the best for me, either! Im still waiting for my inner Soup Nazi to go away this week. Hopefully, tomorrow!

  5. This totally had me laughing out loud! I totally know what you are referring to and I love Seinfield! I am so the "soup nazi" at times too.. and I get what you are saying and I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one that can be this way at times!
    Thanks for the laugh! Glad your kiddos were better today!


  6. I am right there with you!! You would think after a long break they would come back settled NOT!!!! Hope the end of the week gets better.

  7. Do ya have ESP? Cause you are speaking my language…I'm right there with you..yesterday and today I've been humming the DMX line "Ya'll gon make me loose my mind up in here up in here. Ya'll gon make me
    "ack-ca" fool up in here up in here. Ya'll gon make me loose my cool up in here up in here.." I think it's definitely the full moon.

  8. I LOVE Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi!!! I have been there and done that. My principal has told us to not get into a battle with a 6 year old because they will win. Ummm, hello??!!!??? Seriously???!!! Not in my room!

    I am not one for raising my voice but sometimes they need a reminder WHO they need to listen to! As I tell them and they quote back to me"If you make good choices, good things happen. If you make bad choices, bad things happen." And when I see them acting like they have lost their mind I ask them "What are your choices showing me?"

    You rock Jennifer! I have to remind myself sometimes that they are only 6 and grown-ups don't always do the things we are supposed to either! =)

    Heather's Heart

  9. Ha, Ha, I love Seinfeld, and that soup Nazi is one of my faavorite episode. I think I have been a soup Nazi lately, too. I thought I was the only one who says acting a fool, ha, ha, its good to know that we can find humor in all this. Its been spring like in Chicago, so my students have been a bit craaaazy too. Keep Pushing 🙂

  10. I just watched the last Seinfeld and the soup nazi was on! I've been the same exact way. SAME EXACT way the last two days. Seriously, it's got to be the full moon. I really believe that! I even had to sit down and figure out if I was PMSing because I felt so mean!
    It doesn't seem to stick with the kids, they all still hug me and bounce down the hallway to go home like it was the best day while I'm standing there feeling terrible!

    You are not alone 🙂

  11. I love your story! And it is totally true! I feel like that some days too. I get home and I am like WHAT HAPPENED TODAY? Then I come back the next day and everything is back to normal. It seems like these "special" days, as I call them happen when everything has been going good for a little too long. The kids have to remind us that they are just kids and that they need to be goofy and out of control sometimes.:) I am so glad today was better! Two of those "special" days in a row is tough work!

  12. It has been a crazy week. Full moon, Friday the 13th. I thought about taking a personal day. HA!

    When my darling asked me if Bloody Mary was real on Tuesday… Well… Whatcha gonna say! I spent many a days hanging out in the bathroom, turning on and off lights… in search of her as a kid. I was at a loss for words!


  13. Ahh, I can feel you there! Sometimes I feel like I'm a drill sergeant! I always tell my kids, "I'm about to get crabby!" I've even made the connection Miss Viola Swamp myself out-loud to my kiddos!

  14. It is the full moon…..or if you are near Wisconsin….it is the warm air….my kids do not know what do in the middle of winter with no snow.

    I gave my little ones some homework….to look under their beds for their listening ears…..they thought that was funny.

    Sue 🙂

  15. Hey Jennifer! Just remember that sometimes it doesn't matter what you do or don't do, kids have "those days" . Unavoidable job hazard, I guess. 🙂 Oh, I love Seinfeld! It is laugh out loud funny (to me anyway 🙂

  16. OMG, Jennifer! I could have written that post (although not nearly as well 🙂 cause that's exactly what I'm like … Exactly! And yesterday was brutal. And I always fantasize about how next year I'll be the perfect teacher. Why do we do this to ourselves? It drives me crazy.

    Loved all your Seinfeld references…here's to a better tomorrow.

    Grade ONEderful

  17. Its definitely the moon 😉 I totally hear you. Yesterday I gave my kiddos a talk about "trust" since I was busy cleaning up after our MLK activities I "trusted" them to walk quietly on their own, just three doors down to art class. OMG one of my little sweeties {wish I had 30 of her} said "um, the class is running to art". Needless to say I called all of them back, & told them I was very sad I could trust them to walk quietly 🙁

    Hope tomorrow is a better day for both of us 🙂

  18. Crazy I have one of the sweetest, most well-behaved classes I've ever had…….and YET the last few days they are "acting a fool". I mean…talking out, coming to me during writer's workshop and centers….Really? Say what??? uuuh since August we've learned that is a no no!

    I had to pull out my "pit bull teacher look" like I was gonna bite their leg off to get them to stop today…. I hate being viola swamp, but…..geez!!!!


  19. Happens to us all girl! I've had my kids put their coats and backpacks on go outside and we start all over. I even grab my empty coffee mug and say, "Good Morning! I'm so excited to have a GREAT DAY with my first graders who are responsible and great listeners!"

    AND we've even danced it out Grey's Anatomy style for a few minutes. Hang in there!

    Rowdy in First Grade

  20. Oh, thank you! This post just made my week! I'm a little slow at getting to read it, but LOL! Thank you! You described life as a first grade teacher perfectly. Some days are just like this! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only teacher that has days like this. Thank you for making me smile. 🙂

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