Excessive Talking | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Excessive Talking | Mark’s Remarks

By on September 5, 2018 at 10:30 am

I recently had my 29th parent night, with eager and nervous parents visiting, wondering what this year of school would be like for their children.

It’s always interesting to meet parents. Teachers see quite a lot and hear quite a lot during parent orientation. I think it’s important for teachers and parents to create a link early on. It helps us all support these youngsters together as a team.

My favorite part of orientation is answering questions.  Being able to answer questions for parents enables me to calm them, to connect with them and gain their trust. I enjoy getting even a little snippet of their family when I talk to parents. 

Invariably, parents will approach me with a bit of a gleam in their eye but also a posture of caution.

“He likes to talk,” is usually how the conversation starts.  This is followed by special instructions or a history of what the child has dealt with in the classroom. Or better yet, what his teachers have dealt with.

I wave away such information. When parents come and tell me their child is known for being a bit talkative, I reassure them I’ve “been there, done that.”  Now, they probably think I’m talking about all my years of teaching and my expertise at dealing with talkative kids. But that’s only half the problem.

If you ask my dear mother, she will tell you I came out of the womb having a conversation. It runs in my family. The paternal side of the family is known as being big talkers, many of them talking so much they disregard other things in life. That side of my family adds every detail and tells the whole story. By the end, you know who everyone is related to and what they had for breakfast – for the past couple of months. Big talkers, I tell you.

So, I’m sure my parents were not surprised when I started school. My kindergarten teacher, a kind woman, warned me that talkers who refused to stop talking had to stand in the corner. So, off I went shortly after starting my school career.  Through the years, I’ve had most of the other forms of punishment, including detention the second week I was in high school. All because I couldn’t shut up. I’m pretty sure the schools thought about throwing out the ink pens and just having a rubber stamp made for my report cards. Excessive talking.  Excessive talking. Excessive talking.

When I was a teenager and worked at Walmart, one of the managers recognized my voice and acting talent and recruited me to make announcements and do “red light specials.” The power of pushing that little green button and having my voice amplified over the entire store soon turned me into a power hungry monster of sorts.  I did every announcement I could. Sometimes, when I answered the phone, I’d think up new names for the departments.  Instead of “Garden Center, take the call on line 1,” I would say “Horticulture, line 1 please.”  

I thought I was hilarious. 

When I got my evaluation from one of the managers, there were lots of positives. However, one thing every manager managed to say was “You play on the intercom too much.” 

Excessive talking. Again.

I’ll bet there are plenty of regular readers out there who have no problem believing this admission.

Just think how short some of these columns would be if I were a quiet person.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.