Friday, April 13, 2007

Legally binding disclaimer

I just thought it might be worth it to mention that ...

"No children were injured or abused in the creation of this weeks blogs. No children were mocked or laughed at ... to their knowledge. No childen were denied the right to use the restroom, wash their hands, eat their lunch, or sharpen their pencil. No children were photographed, touched, interrogated, emotionally tortured or handcuffed. Only the substitute teacher was harmed and he's tough enough to take it."

It is now 11:01pm and I have 3 ... count 'em THREE ... Tylenol PM's coursing through my bloodstream. I expect to be in a legally drugged stupor until at least 10:00am tomorrow. (Don't even think about calling me.) I plan on dreaming of white sand beaches and puffy white clouds floating across cobalt blue skies. In reality I'll probably wake up around 3:00am and stare at the ceiling fan because I ate enough enchilada's and tamale's tonight to keep Mexico City happy for a week. It was my edible victory dance.

Ethyl, put your hat on ... this one's comin in! (That's for you, Scotty.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I won ... but I'm tiiiiired

I'm tiiiiiired tonight. The rug rats tried their best but I lived. I just don't know whhhhy. Did I mention I'm tiiiiired?

I stepped up to the plate today. Took control of the room in a radical way. Laid down the law. Didn't write my name on the board. Just told it to them and mentioned that if they wanted recess they had best remember it. They did.

Then there was the P.E. teacher. I think that stands for "physical education." This particular P.E. teacher also came to my class to tutor a couple of kids in reading before she took them to the gym and ran their butts off. I didn't know she was the P.E. teacher. Actually I thought she was like a high school senior earning extra credit or something.

Then she showed up to take the kids to the gym. I started getting the kids lined up and, while they were putting their books away, I walked over to her and asked how she managed to survive doing this for a living.

"Doing what for a living?" she asked dumbly.


"How did you do it?" she asked still more dumbly.

"Do what?"

"I thought you probably retired from teaching and now just subbed occasionally,” she said at the zenith of her dumbery.

I looked at her. Closely. "Retired? You think I'm retired?"

"Well, I didn't know” she said as she passed from dumb straight into insane.

"I'm not retired and I never taught. I was a pastor but I seem to have gotten past it." I replied cleverly with a twist of sarcasm.

She left with the kids. None too soon. Retired. Bah! She must pay.

After thirty minutes she returned with my beloved cast of criminal wannabee's. She was the first one in the door with the kids following behind. I waited until we locked eyes.

"Well, if it isn't the thirteen year old pop-tart." It was a shining moment ... even if she didn't get it. She left the room. I had a 2nd grader use a disinfectant cleaner where she had walked.

And the kids? One dumped his desk over. It was an acccccident. Sure it was. One had managed to get himself grounded from recess and had to sit with his head on his desk, which means I got to sit and watch him do it. Fun. If I had made the call he would have sat with his desk on his head instead of his head on his desk. There was actually a plus side. My first assignment was to read to them for 25 minutes out of some book about kids living in a boxcar. (Strange.) At that point EVERY BODY began raising their hands. You know why? They all wanted to be the one to scratch my back while I read the story.

Say what?

Yep. It seems that the teacher lets kids scratch her back everyday while she reads. It took me about 3 nanoseconds to agree and select today's "scratchers." This is a tradition I can live with.

Tomorrow? It's back to middle school semi-messed up kids. I can handle that. Easily. Nobody is more semi-messed up than I am. It's like going home.

But tonight? I'm tiiiiiired.


It is 1:45PM. The children are at PE. Thank God for whoever invented physical education class.

BREAKING NEWS: The danger may not be the 2nd graders after all. I have reasonable cause to believe there may be a TEACHER CONSPIRACY. Yes, traders within the ranks. Film at 10.

I lived

Morning dawned. The cock crowed. The dew dried. The 2nd graders are waiting.

This cannot be good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Maybe I'll get lucky and die in my sleep tonight


Today I was a substitute teacher. In the morning I was with these 6th and 7th graders that are ... less than cooperative. I don't know exactly what they call them but they are not considered behavioral disorder kids. They are some where in between. You know what that means? It means we get along just fine. Really. Some are obnoxious and I can be too. Some are really nice and I can be too. So we pretty much click. They frown, I snarl. They snarl, I growl. They growl, I snap. They snap, I call the office. Shaddup. It works.

Then at 11:30 the teacher came back from wherever she was and I was sent down to the 2nd graders. They let me go to lunch and then I showed up at their room. The teacher, who is a friend of mine, gave me a quick briefing of the afternoon and then she was gone. I was cool. I was in charge. I'm the teacher.


Those kids are dangerous! They don't mean to be ... but that does not make it any less true. They just want your attention. They like it when the teacher likes them. But there is this thing about 2nd graders. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT "SIT DOWN" MEANS. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND "BE QUIET." If you yell, "SHADDUP!" they cry. They get up and walk around the room just because the room is there. (They are two year olds in Nike's!) They raise their hands to answer the questions I ask even though they don't know the answer just because they want me to look at them. They tell you what the "real" teacher would do if she were there. That's when I point out ... "she ain't here so we are going to do it my way!" Who knew that 2nd graders would know that "ain't" ain't a real word. Oh, but they alllll told me. One at a freaken time.

And you know what I was supposed to teach these terrorists? Math. I don't know anything about math. I own 7 calculators! They called it "arithmetic" when I was in 2nd grade. Arithmetic I can do. Math? No way. Ok, we were only doing the "2 times" stuff, but still. I know how to do the "2 times" stuff but I've never tried to explain it to a 2nd grader before. You know what? THEY DON'T GET IT. It took me ten minutes to explain why 2 X 0 = 0. TEN MINUTES! I have explained the book of Revelations in ten minutes. Ok, not really. But close. Then I started them doing a work sheet the teacher had left. And guess what? I totally screwed it up. No, the 2nd graders didn't screw it up. The teacher didn't give bad instructions and screw it up. I screwed it up. The substitute teacher. The one with the degree. I mumbled something about our being out of time and told them to please file their papers in the big round can on the way out the door for recess. Some wise guy told me that the round can was only for garbage. I told her that maybe Mrs. Orr uses it for garbage but I am the teacher today and I am collecting their homework in it. She cried.. Can you say "touchy?" So I got them all lined up for recess when another teacher walking by in the hall mentioned that it was raining and that Mrs. Orr had recess duty today and that since she wasn't there ... I had recess duty in her place. Oh. Ok. I vaguely remember that she might have mentioned that to me. She offered to go get a tv/vcr for us. I thanked her, sent the kids to go potty (after they left I realized I had no idea where the bathrooms were or how many kids were in my class ... I'm still not sure there aren't some still in there) and waited for the arrival of the equipment. It arrived on time. Guess what? Wouldn't you think there would be a movie or documentary or SOMETHING in the VCR? A Shakespeare play would have been fine. Wouldn't you think the teacher would BRING SOMETHING WITH HER? Sure you would. But nope. Nada. I now had three classes of 2nd graders in front of me and no e-stinken movie to watch. This is where you groan in group sympathy for me. (Alright, to be honest they finally found a mini-movie and we watched part of it. But they nearly rioted when I turned it off so we could continue with ... math.)

Ok, so we survived. And I swore at that moment that I would never, NEVER, never sub for 2nd graders again. And then when I got home I checked my email and found out I had already been assigned the same class ... tomorrow. AAARRRGGGHHH. Different teacher ... same age. That means all new kids. Kids I have not scared yet. Oh my.

I would rather be drug by mad dogs around the course of the Boston Marathon than sub for 2nd graders. I would rather play goalie for the Blue's .... without pads ... than sub for 2nd graders. I would rather be covered with peanut butter ... and OH how I hate peanut butter ... and licked clean by coyote's than sub for 2nd graders. I would rather sub for a behavioral disorder class all day than sub for 2nd graders for one hour. I DON'T WANT TO SUB FOR 2ND GRADERS ANY MORE!

Are you picking up my point here? Are you getting my drift?

Ok. I can do this. It's just me and 25 of them. No problem. I have had worse odds in deacon's meetings. I only have them for the afternoon. Piece of cake.

Who am I kidding? I have not said this in years, but … I DON’T WANNA GO TO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!!

(PS to Jenny ... remember ... I love ya. This is all "tongue in cheek." Maybe.)