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25th May
posted by amber

My Day in School

The job just gets worse and worse. Most days I can hardly bear to drag myself out of bed and off to school. And what’s the first thing I encounter? The inane chatter of the other teachers in the staff room – so repugnant. Most of them are no better than the hippy-dippy students, fuzzy-headed, in favour of abolishing dress codes and exams and respect.

I’ve heard them referring to me as an ‘old fogey,’ even though I’m not that much older than they are, in years anyhow. Maturity is another matter. The war taught me the value of respect and discipline. The same war that bought them the freedom that they have, but none of them realize it. Instead it’s ‘ban the bomb’ and forgive the rapists and murderers because they’d had a hard childhood, boo hoo.

I expect such muddy reasoning from my students, all of them too young to know what life is really about, but my fellow teachers are supposed to be adults.

No, I don’t blame my students for the hell my job has become. It’s in their nature to be restless goof-offs, to be more interested in their hormones than in learning. They just need a steady hand at the helm.

But how am I supposed to be a steady hand when the administration keeps expecting me to do so many more things than teaching? Today I’m supposed to be handing out sign-up sheets for students wanting to volunteer to help with the Prom – for god’s sake. And what’s more, I have to end the class 15 minutes early so everyone has time to get to the auditorium for a stupid pep rally.

The year’s coming to an end and it’s important to review all the equations that might be on the final exam – that’s the important thing now. They’re behind – all the snow days this winter, and the day they had off to attend the funeral of a teacher who’d retired three years ago whom most of them didn’t know, and the rash of fire alarms which had sent them all out into the parking lot five times before they caught the idiot who was doing it. And now, with crunch time coming, they all have spring fever and baseball fever and prom fever and I cannot get them to settle down and learn.

Ten minutes into the class, I have to stop teaching so that everyone can listen to an announcement over the PA about a field trip to the museum, and five minutes later there’s another announcement, about the pep rally, and five minutes after that yet another announcement, not even for the students, but reminding all staff members that teachers planning summer school sessions have just three more days to turn in their lesson plans, something which easily could have been handled by a notice in the staff room or by memos to the individual teachers.

This is ridiculous. I can’t help it. I’m seeing red.

Even as I’m jumping up onto the counter beneath the PA speaker, I know I’m over-reacting, I know I’ll be a laughing-stock to my students, but I can’t control myself.

I rip the speaker off the wall and throw it into the trash can.

Amazingly, my students are quiet and attentive and extremely well-behaved for the rest of the period.

Somehow, though, I suspect they’ll be talking about this for many years to come.

If this story seems familiar, it’s because StoryADay encouraged us to take a story we’d already written and change the point of view. I changed this from third person to first person, which gave it a different slant and a new last line (which is true – for this is based on a real teacher).

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