Joey FAQs

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I’ve been approached with several questions about the Moments with Joey posts I write a few times a month. This post is to answer the questions that have come my way over the past few years.

Who is Joey? Is he a real kid?

Yes, Joey is real. No, that’s not his real name though. When I first started writing these, ‘Joey’ was going to be the name of any kid in my class who did anything which was worthy of writing a post about. However, I soon noticed that one particular student for each of the years I’ve written these has taken on Joey’s character. 90-95% of the ‘moments’ are written about a single student each year.

How did you come up with the name? Have you really had a student named Joey?

No, I’ve never had a Joey in my class before. I’ve had a Joseph, but not a Joey.

When I’d been teaching for a year or two, I’d share stories with my classes about the good and bad choices old students of mine had made. The boys in all the stories become ‘Joey,’ and the girls become ‘Becky.’ This was mostly to protect the identities of those certain kids because some of them had siblings in my class, and others would have known them from the school’s neighborhood.

What are you going to do if you ever get a kid really named Joey or Becky in your class?

I’ll still use the names, but make it clear that this is another Joey, or another Becky, not the one currently sitting in the classroom.

Will you ever write a ‘Moments with Becky?’

If I ever get enough material I might; however, it seems that boys are currently the best source for the antics of these posts.

Are these interactions you write up as MWJ really true? Does this stuff really happen?

Yes, each of the things in the mini-plays has really happened. Occasionally I do cut a few things here and there for clarity, but the situations are all real. I always keep my notebook handy because I never know when a ‘moment’ will happen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught off-guard and find myself scribbling these interactions on scratch paper or sticky notes.

Some people have wondered whether a kid would really say some of the things Joey has. All I can say to this is that if you spent a day with each years’ Joey, you’d realize just what imaginative boy he is. He makes me laugh on a daily basis, and I have gathered far more ideas from him than I could ever use for posts. However, some of these are simply one or two lines that don’t lend themselves out well for an entire post.

Also, I have to be honest here; there are times when I will let ‘Joey’ go on just to see what will pan out in the situation. I’m very often surprised.

If you've taken so many notes on situations with this boy, why don't you run posts like these more often?

This is mostly because I didn't want my blog to be a MWJ blog. If I have a bit too much on it, then the site becomes Joey's blog, and not mine. I don't want him to COMPLETELY take over...

Does Joey ever disrupt the class? It sounds like he does.

Not too much more often than anybody else. Sure, he’s had his moments, but he’s also pretty good about keeping in control and follows directions well. I’d gladly take a dozen of him.

Will you post a photo of the real ‘Joey’ from each year so that we can see what he really looks like?

Sorry. I’m disinclined to aquiest to your request. Being a teacher, I am not at liberty to post photos of any of the boys without parental consent. Perhaps in the future when they’re a bit older, have moved on to middle school, and I have sought permission of their parents I will. But for now…nope.

Do your students know you write these posts?

Absolutely not. Well, that is unless their parents—who may have stumbled across my blog—have informed them about the posts.

What first gave you the idea for these posts?

Well, students are a good source of moments that are often noteworthy. They’d say something in class and I’d think to myself, “Wow, that was funny,” or “That was really touching.” However, that’s as far as it ever went.

It was a few years ago that I stumbled across a blog where a father had written up 4 or 5 different situations involving his son, Andre, in a similar format. It was from this, plus the fact that the students I have do and say funny and or deep things every day, that the Joey posts were born.

What about the “Moments with Joey” post that was written about a boy you mentored?

I wasn’t sure the direction I was going to take on the MWJ posts when I first started to write them, and this particular moment was something that made me laugh. I decided to write it up and post it anyhow. Just so you know, that particular boy was in my class a few years before that post came about, he graduated from elementary school and later signed up for the SafetyNet Mentoring program that I’d already been involved with for quite a few years. He and I were matched up along with the three other boys I was mentoring at the time. It was such a humorous conversation that I couldn’t help but write it up.

Do you have a favorite MWJ post?

Not really, they are all so diverse and reading them over again reminds me of the kids and events as they happened. I guess I could say that I am a bit partial to the Kittens post; my sister even designed a shirt for it.

You mentioned that your sister made a t-shirt logo. Would you offer up MWJ shirts for people to buy? Also, what does it look like?

If enough people wanted them I’d do up another printing. They cost $15 which includes shipping and all that jazz…

Here’s what the shirt looks like:

I personally own four of them.

What if you didn’t answer my question in this forum?

If you send an email with your question to teachinfourth at yahoo (or click the Z-Mail link up at the bottom right sidebar) and I’ll do my best to answer it (provided that I can) and add it to this list. What more could one ask for?

Okay, maybe a pony would be nice.
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