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Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Treat a Teacher

How to Treat a Teacher

Subtitle: I am the reason you are not with your kid 24/7. A thank you once in a while would be nice. 
Oh and before I forget....110 days left my friends..110 days...

Just a note to kiddos in my area. Good luck to you guys starting this week. And good luck to your parents, because you act like idiots when it comes to homework. And come up with stupid reasons as to why you didn’t do it. I’ve heard them all. You are lucky they took away our paddles. 

Step 1: Recognize that a teacher is a person. Once of the greatest surprises in my life as a teacher was the first time I ran into a student at the grocery store.  No exaggerations, the conversation went down like this: 

Student: Sra! What are you doing here!?!
Me: Buying groceries hun, how are you? (see, I call everyone hun, even Michael Shanks - hee hee). 
Student: I’m good, you buy groceries here?
Me: Yea, they have good sales and double coupons. 
Student: You double coupons? So does my mom. 
Me: Smart woman. 
Student: (Stares at me dumbfounded saying nothing). 
Me: Well, I will see you later, got lots to do ya know?
Student: Ok Sra., I just can’t believe you shop here. 
Me: It’s weird I know. Especially when I have to stuff all of these groceries back into the ceiling of the classroom (Bri exits stage right)

Step 2: Understand a teacher’s schedule.  I will never get enough laughs out of those signs that say “The three reasons for being a teacher: June, July & August.”  THOSE signs were not made by a teacher. Because a teacher’s REAL work day/week/year looks something like this.  

September (for some of you, well me, August - sorry) - June

6:00 am - wake up, get your own kids moving if you have to, shower, dress and pack a lunch because some of those b$*ches think teaching high school is a damn fashion show AND the food in the cafeteria will cause you to die of type 2 Diabetes by age 40.

7:30 am - arrive at school, where you either have some sort of silly duty that would not need to exist if parents just whupped their kids once in a while OR get bombarded with students giving you excuses about why they don’t have their work. Because their goat ate it. No lie.  Which I have had told to me. And it was true. “How to Live in the Country” remember??

8:30 am - 3:30 pm - teach and teach and herd and teach and herd and scream and shout and grade and plan and SHOVEL FOOD DOWN IN 20 MINUTES BECAUSE WE ARE THE ONLY PROFESSIONALS ON THE PLANET THAT DO NOT GET AN HOUR and teach and grade and herd and yell and DONE.  That was the bell. Sweet Athena, get out of my room.  
5:00 pm - Make dinner while or after or during your own children’s soccer/football/basketball/yoga/robotics practice. Have stack of papers to grade for every free second.   This is how you will spend the next four hours. 

9:00 pm - Put kids to bed and sits with husband on sofa watching something on TV. Attempt to laugh reactively at the appropriate times despite the fact that you are knee deep in AP Spanish essays and it is insanely hard to grade in one language and watch TV in another. Suck it up and pour some wine (yeah, in step 2 already, it’s THAT bad) and get to work.  

11:00 pm - Fall asleep in papers.

1:00 am - Realize that you are asleep on sofa and husband has left you. Drag yourself to bathroom, brush teeth and pass out, hoping that at the very least Daniel Jackson will visit you in your dreams. 

3:00 am - Get up to go to the bathroom, no damn Daniel yet, pee and head back to bed, looking at the clock realizing you only have three more hours to sleep. 

“Next Verse, same as the first, southern accent now little bit worse” (No former scouts here? For shame...) 

Oh, did you think I forgot the summer? Here’s how we spend the summer.....

planning,taking classes, recertifiying, getting endorsements, engaging in school sponsored traveling, shopping for next year since they give us no money or supplies, doing every personal thing in our lives (marriage, etc) since we can never get time off during the year, all doctors visits, surgeries, major car repairs, 

You get the idea.  Remember my birthday? Don’t get me one of those little signs. I will smack you. 

Step 3: Make sure your kid is ready to start school.  Yes, I know the supply list is insane, but they are paying us a waitresses salary while they spend crazy amounts of money on things like football stadiums and electronic marquees and giving us a box of chalk and a smile. We know how expensive it is, but really, all we want is for you to send them with paper and pencils, that’s it.  If you kid has something to write with and write on, we’ll be happy and start begging for the rest. 

Step 4: Be involved in your child’s education and I mean really involved, Help them with their homework, spelling lists, reading charts and help out in the classroom when needed. And attend meetings about and for your kids.  Sober.  For real.  Do NOT waltz into a meeting to discuss your child’s academic future, did I say waltz, I meant stagger, announcing to the room that you are still young enough to get your period and are on it right now, so let’s get this shit over. True story. Happened to a friend. You just can’t make that shit up, you know? 

Step 5: Parent your child, leave the education to me part one. I am a professional. I have completed an insane amount of training in order to be underpaid and under appreciated.  But, in this training that my friends in college continuously mocked because I COULD have been a translator or something cool, I have learned a lot about, well, learning.  About how children learn, motivating children to learn, enhancing their educational experience, so trust me, ok? I don’t like those standardized tests any more than you do, but I have spent a LOT of my time trying to make sure the kids don’t even know they are prepping for the tests. Throw me a bone ok? 

Step 6: Part two. Now, if I’m spending all of this time planning and getting lessons straight, you need to be covering the other bases. Like sex. Please sit your kid down and explain them in an age appropriate fashion what is going on.  Not only do I find it disturbing that most ten year olds know more positions than I do, but they shouldn’t know sex jokes either.  Yet another true story. Friend teaching in third grade class. Approached by student. Mrs. ________ do you know what the difference between kinky and perverted is.  Kinky is when you use a feather and perverted is when you use the whole chicken.  (Pauses). I will now give you time to close your mouth.  Take note, and head this off at the pass. 

Step 7: Have realistic expectations. You kid could be and NFL player or the next Michael Shanks (see, I even fit him into this one - booyah) but the point of the matter is that without an education there are no guarantees in life.  So don’t tell me that your child is going to miss the entire week leading up to AP review for a volleyball tournament or that their travel glee club trip is more important that studying for my test. Because if you do I am going to have to tell you that attending Stargate Cons is more important that grading your kid’s papers, which, if we are really going apples to apple here, if that’s your attitude, it kinda is.

Step 8: Read what comes home.  I don’t like writing those notes anymore than you like reading them, but I’m trying to keep you informed here.  Read them, please, pretty please with a cherry on top. Because nothing says good parenting like an end of the year return call wondering why your child is failing.  Who are you? Wait, is THIS the real person attached to that voicemail that never returns my calls? 

Step 9:  Can’t find me? I might be in a meeting. Again? I’m probably in a meeting. Still can’t find me? I’m mostly likely in a meeting. Hello? Yeah, you’re lucky you caught me because I am probably am supposed to be in a meeting right now. 

Step 10: Drink coffee. Yeah, you heard me, coffee.  I’m not giving up on the wine, but at this point you might as well hook up an IV to me and your kid’s other teachers 9 months out of the year. You can have wine, but just don’t look at us funny when we show up to happy hour on Friday.  After all, it’s better to be blitzed before we crawl back into the ceilings. 

1 comment:

  1. I have printed this out twice and will give a copy to my Maths Teacher brother in law and another copy to my retired History Teacher father. They will appreciate this very much.