Wednesday, April 14, 2010


STFU! I can say that here, can't I? Because I sure can't say that when and where I want to say it, which is at school, all the live-long day.

It's that time of year, people. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has had a craw full and can't take it anymore. Her cranky, curmudgeonous facade has been ratcheted up to the nth power. Yes. Her vitriol is exponential, much like the Richter scale. If you were to peel the layers off of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's brittle outer shell, you would weep from the spray of acid that also coats her tongue. You would need a HazMat suit to survive.

I don't ask for much, really. Just the opportunity to get myself to work on time, without dragging a 15-year-old behind me like an anchor from the USS Missouri, which, as you know, is a permanent, stationary memorial located in Hawaiian waters. Maybe the boy will get up on time if I tell him I am ready to inform his classmates that he is holding me back like a Big MO.

I only want to get through the day with time to grade my papers, run copies, have a laugh provided by my students, have everybody follow the rules or comply the FIRST time I tell them, and oh...yes...have the kids learn a little bit of Physics along the way. I don't think that's too much to ask. But every day, people try to foil my plans. Every day.

I don't want people dropping in before the first bell. It's work time, by cracky! Teachers oughta be gettin' their own work done. Students need to be where the duty teachers are made to oversee them. Neither should be roaming the halls, popping in on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and forcing her to make small talk until first bell.

I don't want students interrupting my class to ask if they can talk to What's His Name or see if I have a band-aid or ask to use my GermX or try to borrow a pencil from me for the End of Course test in another subject. NO. Leave me alone. It never used to be like this. I make it my personal goal until the end of the school year to look up the schedule of those interlopers, and contact their teacher of that period, and ask why they were allowed to come to my classroom. I'm betting that I will only have to do that once per teacher. Because stuff rolls downhill, don't you know, and nobody wants to be at the bottom of that hill.

I don't want the office calling me two or three times per class period to ask for a student to come to the office. That means I have to go to the phone, which is at the back of the room, where I do not want my desk situated, and turn my back to the students to answer. Not to mention losing my train of thought and losing the slim interest of the students that I had painfully amassed to this point.

I don't want to listen to Mr. S drone on and on at the lunch table. I have heard all his stories at least 10 times per year for the past 12 years. That's 120 times, for those of you who are not math friendly. Really. I can recite them as good as he. It is very hard to hear fresh stories from other people at the table when S is droning in my ear like a lonely, starving mosquito. And when he's not telling a story, he's asking me, "What?" I am not your personal translator. Get a Miracle Ear, or sit closer to the action.

I can't understand why kids run from the lunchroom, down the hall to my classroom, to wait outside the door until I get there, then go in and deposit their books, and ask me, "Can I go to the bathroom." Here's a novel idea: go to the bathroom on your way from lunch to my classroom. You're welcome.

I don't want to take 10 minutes of my plan time to chat with Mr. Custodian. While he is a very nice guy who knows Farmer H and inquires about his goats and chickens daily, I need to be getting on with the things that need doing. I don't have 50 minutes a week to throw away. What ever happened to cleaning the rooms after school, instead of on the teacher's plan time?

I don't need that one student monopolizing my time in the hallway between classes. It's bad enough that I have constant chatter all the rest of the day. Can I not have 4 minutes to watch the students passing, keeping my eye out for shenanigans, without having to nod like I'm interested in that small talk six time a day? One time a day, maybe twice a week, should be enough to keep me caught up on her activities. She is reverse stalking me, it seems. Forcing me to know too much.

I don't need the needies needing my every waking moment to give them attention. There are three or four in every class. From the minute the bell rings and I walk in to take attendance, they are jockeying for position, shouting out questions, asking another one even as I try to answer the first. I do not want to be rigid and insist on hand-raising and calling upon, but I will institute such a tactic if this continues. I am only one person. With only two ears. Kids these days don't know how conversation works. One talks. One listens. Repeat. I blame it on texting.

I am finally at peace this evening. Just me and the clicking of my keyboard. Things that are tolerable for the other eight months of the year become virtually unbearable in April. Lucky for me (and everyone whose path crosses mine), I have this little pressure valve of a blog to let off steam.

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