Teacher Only Doing Half Their Job

, , , , | Hopeless | December 10, 2017

(My mom gets a call from my brother’s first grade teacher that he’s behind in class and will need to repeat the grade if he doesn’t improve. My mom brings her mom with her to the meeting, because my nana is a first grade teacher herself.)

Teacher: “[Brother] is doing very well in all his subjects except math; he hasn’t passed a single assignment this year.” *She begins laying the worksheets on the table, and Nana starts looking them over.*

Mom: “I don’t understand. I practiced addition and subtraction with him all summer, and he got it. He knows this stuff, he’s even started learning his times tables.”

Teacher: “Well, I’m sorry, I know it’s hard to hear, but if he doesn’t improve, he might need to go into remediation.”

Nana: “Wait a minute, he’s gotten exactly a fifty percent on all of these.”

Teacher: “Yes, that’s not a passable score.”

Nana: “No, no, look. He answers all the questions on the front perfectly, and doesn’t make a single mark on the back. He’s not bad at math, he’s bad at flipping pages!”

Teacher: “Oh!”

(Mom and Nana convinced her to keep him after school and let him make up all the backs of his worksheets, which he does perfectly. I know teaching’s really hard, but you’d think a college-educated woman would have noticed that he was only doing the front of the worksheets, rather than assume he’s remedial.)

A Sudden Spray Of Compliments

, , , | Hopeless | December 8, 2017

(I work in a restaurant that is a part of a country club. I am hostessing one night that is pretty busy for most of my time there, but then it starts to get slow, so I decide to start cleaning the tables outside on the restaurant’s balcony. The spray I am using doesn’t have a strong smell, but it is not a pleasant smell either. I am finishing cleaning a table when I hear a member across the balcony say this to me:)

Member: “Um, EXCUSE ME? That spray you’re using has a very strong smell and I would appreciate it if you would not spray that when I’m trying to eat.”

(I am embarrassed from being yelled at in front of a few other tables, so I apologize and decide to put the cleaning supplies away. I start to walk towards the doors to go inside when I am stopped by a couple of new members.)

New Member: “For what it’s worth…”

Me: *in my head* “Crap, I’m going to be yelled at again.”

New Member: “…that spray actually smells nice, so please keep spraying it.”

Me: “Oh, well, I just put the supplies away, so I can clean later.”

New Member’s Wife: “Well, I’m glad you’re at least cleaning, when some workers leave tables a mess.”

New Member: “Yeah, and don’t listen to those people who yelled at you, they’re just a couple of a**h***s who like to berate workers. Why don’t you bring back the spray, and maybe I can teach them a lesson?”

Me: *laughing* “Oh, thank you for the kind words, but I don’t want either of us to get into trouble tonight.”

(After talking for a bit more, I go to clean inside the restaurant. I decide to come back outside to see if anything there needs to be cleaned, when the new members come inside to pay for their meal. They start talking to one of the waitresses, when the new member sees me again.)

New Member: *as he’s leaving* “Thank you for working hard tonight, ma’am, and don’t let those other people bring you down. I want to see you smile.”

(Those were some of the nicest members I have met in the three years I have worked at the restaurant, and they made me feel good for the rest of the night!)

How We Know You Care (Package)

, , , , | Hopeless | December 6, 2017

(One of my best friends has always been very grounded and calm. Outwardly, she’s not really affectionate or sentimental at all, but she’s just the kind of person who prefers actions over words, and is in fact a total den mom.)

Me: “Hey, you remember my coworker I told you about?”

Best Friend: “The one you only mention everyday? The one who must have been your twin in another lifetime? Nope, I’m drawing a blank.”

Me: “I know you guys will love her! Can we set up a movie day? I really want everyone to meet her.”

Best Friend: “I’m surprised we haven’t already.”

(My coworker is glad to hang out with us, but understandably self-conscious about being the new girl in a group who’ve all known each other for years. [Best Friend] is welcoming, but so laid back all the time that our new friend is nervous she might not care much for her, despite my reassurances. Fast forward a few weeks: We’ve all planned to go to the beach together, but we get a text from [New Friend] that morning.)

New Friend: “Hey, can’t come today. My dad had a stroke and died last night.”

(We all start flooding her with texts and calls to make sure she’s okay, but she doesn’t want to talk or see anyone. The only text [Best Friend] sends after a short time is:)

Best Friend: “I’m out, too.”

(It took days for us to find out that a couple hours later, [Best Friend] showed up at her apartment with a huge care package of groceries, tissue boxes, and items for [New Friend’s] puppy. When [New Friend] broke down, she stayed, let [New Friend] cry herself to sleep on her, walked the puppy, and started a big crock pot of stew that would last a few days so [New Friend] wouldn’t have to worry about “trivial and mundane” things (in [Best Friend’s] words) like food while she was mourning. [Best Friend] didn’t think to mention any of this to us until [New Friend] herself brought it up, and it cemented [New Friend’s] place in the group. She never again doubted how much [Best Friend] cared, we’ve all been friends since, and we no longer let [Best Friend] do things like that on her own without letting us pitch in.)

Surprise Party With A Surprise Result

, , , | Hopeless | December 4, 2017

I am a teacher and just have come to the realization that I have some form of anxiety. A side effect of this is that I constantly go through moments where I believe no one likes me, or I constantly berate myself for not being “good enough”. Even though I’m often praised for my work, or my friends reach out to help me, I often feel like I don’t matter. I’m usually really good at talking myself out of it, but it gets hard sometimes. I am also really good at putting on a good face, so people don’t normally see this.

One day, I was stressing over a busy work day and getting things together for my afternoon classes. A fellow teacher, who doesn’t have a car, had already asked if I could drive her to an appointment during the second half of lunch. I agreed, thinking I would eat during the first half, when another coworker came up to ask for a favour. She had something happen with a student and needed to help him, but she had supervision during the first half of lunch. I agreed to take over her supervision, even though I now wouldn’t get a lunch, because I knew a student’s safety was more important. After the first half of lunch, I raced back into the classroom to grab my car keys, when my kids jumped out of nowhere and yelled:

“SURPRISE!”

I stood there confused for a moment, until I saw “Happy Birthday [My Name]” written on the board and a dozen treats and goodies laid out. It was February and my birthday wasn’t until July, and my students had worked with another coworker to arrange a surprise party so I could celebrate my birthday “in school”. I was completely touched and happily surprised with what my students planned, and even more surprised when I found out the whole staff was in on it, too. Both of my coworkers who had needed my help that lunch period were just keeping me away from the classroom so the students could set up.

This meant more than they realized, because I used to always believe I wasn’t special enough for someone to plan a surprise party for me. To have it happen on an already stressful day, and for it to be completely unexpected, helped me in ways I can’t describe. Thank you to my class and everyone involved for making me see something I didn’t!

The Glass Is Definitely Half-Full

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 2, 2017

(I love beach glass, and since I live near a public beach, I’ll usually go for a walk and collect some when I get home from work. It can be hard to tell exactly what beach glass looks like when it’s wet, so I usually collect a handful of my favorite pieces, and sort through them later, at home. The best ones I keep and make into jewelry, and the rest goes in a bowl by my door, and when I go for a walk the next day, I’ll return it to the beach. I forget to take the glass with me one day, so when I go out the next day, I have a bigger pile than usual to take back. As soon as I arrive at the beach, I can tell I won’t find much that day – the lake is perfectly calm and flat, so the waves aren’t bringing up new pieces, and the beach is full of families, so the kids will have already collected most of it. As I’m arriving, I see a group of young kids, maybe five or six, finishing up a sand castle.)

Girl: “It’s done! Maybe if we find some beach glass or pretty rocks or something, we can decorate it?”

(I can’t resist.)

Me: “You said you want to decorate it with beach glass?”

Girl: “Yeah, but the bigger kids already found most of it. I don’t know if we can find enough…”

Me: “Here, I can help!”

(I pulled a big handful of beach glass out of my pocket and handed it to her. From the kids’ reactions, you would think I had just given them a treasure chest full of pirate gold! Totally made my day. I continued my walk, and they came and found me a few minutes later, to show me how they’d decorated their sand castle.)

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