A Day

It has been a day. It was a day full of promise that culminated in me losing my temper with my 7th period class. Granted. It was not solely their fault. It was the build-up of an entire day’s worth of whining, chattering, eye-rolling, huffing, muttering, But-I-Didn’t-Say-ANYTHINGing (except for what they said to their friend before I called their name AFTER I had said “No talking.” about ten times.) people who show me every, single day how they treat their parents by how they treat me.

I thought it was only me–alas, I was not the sole teacher with a story to tell at the end of the day. I heard bits and snatches as I stalked to the front after school to run some scan-trons. The capper was when I walked into my a.p.’s office to get some forms, and saw a teacher sitting in the chair while the a.p. was having the following conversation over the phone–presumably with a parent. “Yes. Well, he told his teacher that she did not have a brain capable of comprehending why he did not need to work in her class today. . .” Evidently it wasn’t the first time the 7th grader–who has a MUCH BIGGER CAPACITY FOR COMPREHENSION THAN HIS 30-something SCIENCE TEACHER–had chosen his reasoning skills over science.

I am not one to wish away days. . .I AM one to wish away these feelings however. The feelings of righteous indignation, exhaustion, justification, and guilt all rolled into the brain and onto the shoulders of a mere mortal. “Chill out, Miss.” I heard that three time’s today–from three different students. I very nearly punched the 3rd one in the mouth. I would GLADLY chill if it weren’t necessary for me to actually, you know, teach. . .or give directions. . .or remind students of rules. . .or do what my administrators tell me. My life would be NOTHING but chill were I able to say, “Open your book to page 56. Read the chapter than follows, then do parts A, B, C, AND the challenge questions. They are due at the end of class. If you don’t finish them in class, you will need to take it home for homework tonight.” That’s what I heard pretty much EVERY teacher I ever had say at the beginning of class more days than not. Except for my Bible teachers.

We don’t even give our students hard copies of text books anymore. The state decided it was too expensive to keep paying for all the lost ones, so now if a kid wants a book to use, they have to check it out overnight.

It’s time for me to go to bed.

But before that, I got to fill out the Scholastic book order forms that Thad brought home. You remember the excitement? Sitting down with a pencil to see what was on deck this month. . .having your mom give you a bag full of change dug from the bottom of her purse to take to school. . .watching the teacher count out the money and fill in the huge, Top Secret Teacher Order Form while we did parts A, B, and C (and feeling REALLY LUCKY if we had to do evens only) or outlined chapter 5 in our social studies books?

Tomorrow it’s back to trying to convince people who care not a whit for education why they must behave long enough to soak up directions. . .why three weeks of daily, uninterrupted class reading time should be enough to complete a middle school length novel. . .and why it is important for them to at least have a working idea of how to identify figurative language and locate text evidence to support it before they go to high school next year.

But tonight–my own two (because Thad is HAPPY to let Victoria look through his order forms too) were just glad to get to ORDER books. I don’t care that Thad’s was about BeyBlades. Scholastic book ordering was the high point of my day. And something I’m glad is still around.

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