It’s Never Too Late To Quit

, , , , , | Learning | January 22, 2020

I work as a substitute teacher before finding a full-time teaching job. One day, I get my first subbing job at a school I have never subbed at. The instructions in the confirmation email say to arrive at school at 8:00 am to sign in.

As it’s my first day at this school, I make sure to leave plenty of time to get to school, and I end up arriving at about 7:50 am. I sit in my car for ten minutes playing on my phone to kill time, and I walk into the building and up to the reception desk at 8:00.

When I tell the receptionist my name, she starts yelling at me for being late and tells me that the principal is supervising the class until I show up.

Apparently, the school starts class at 8:00 am, and actually expected subs to arrive at 7:45. I point out that the confirmation email I received when I accepted this subbing job clearly instructed me to arrive at school at 8:00, but the receptionist will hear none of my attempts to point out this false logic. I finally give up trying to reason with her, go up to the classroom, and take over the class from the principal.

During the teacher’s free period, I am sitting in the classroom on my phone as I have no other tasks. The principal comed up to the classroom and asks why I was late, so I tell him about the misleading instructions in the confirmation email. He tells me that even though that’s what the email said, I still should have gotten to school before 8:00 am because “that’s what smart people do.”

I never took another job from that school again.

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Feliz Navi-Bad

, , | Learning | January 21, 2020

(I work at a language school that also offers different kinds of student accommodation. I manage the homestay — local host families that take our students. Fall and winter were slow, but spring and summer come with a bunch of groups, so I have spent the last four weeks calling families to check if they are available. The Christmas season in Spain ends January 6th and both the 8th and 12th of December are bank holidays. In short, it’s a busy month for Spanish families, so to get in touch I have to call several times. Also note that we can call a family any time; we don’t control when a request for host family comes, so families are expected to answer the phone.)

Me: “Hi, [Lady]! I’m [My Name] from [School]; I’m calling to check if you can host some of our students.”

Lady: “Oh, hi, sweetie!” *has a small chat about the Christmas holidays and New Year* “So, [Guy that no longer works here] told me months ago about this group coming in March–”

Me: “Yeah, that group cancelled, but–”

Lady: “Cancelled?!”

Me: “Yup. They are not coming but–”

Lady: “Why didn’t you tell me?!”

Me: “Well, I’ve been calling lots of host families for the past four weeks, but I guess you might have been too busy with the Christmas season. Anyway, I have–”

Lady: “Well, it was Christmas. I was busy!”

Me: “I understand. There’s no big deal since the group is not coming but–”

Lady: “YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!”

Me: “Again, I called you several times and couldn’t reach you but–”

Lady: “You should have kept trying!”

Me: “I did. I called several times, different days and hours.”

Lady: “I had no calls from you! I had several calls from an unknown number, but not you!”

Me: “That was probably me, [Lady]!”

Lady: “Well, I don’t answer if I don’t recognise the number.”

Me: *stunned silence for a few seconds* “Well… I can only speak to you if you pick up your phone.”

Lady: “I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognise! You should have tried calling [Husband] or [Daughter]!”

Me: “Your number is the only one in the file.”

Lady: “So?! You should have tried!”

Me: *speechless*

(I’m still trying to understand how on Earth I am supposed to get in touch with someone if I only have one phone number and she chooses to not pick up the phone.)

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More Than Forty-Nein States

, , , , , | Learning | January 20, 2020

A long time ago, a friend was an exchange student from Germany to the United States. On his first day in class, he was asked to show where he was from on a map… 

…of the USA… 

…by the teacher.

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Getting An F-Grade

, , , , , , | Learning | January 19, 2020

I am an American working as a foreign English teacher. Most of the two-hour classes for the three older age groups are done by two teachers. One teacher teaches the first hour, and then there is a fifteen-minute break followed by a second hour with a different teacher. 

For one of my higher-level classes for the seven-to-ten-year-old age group, I am the first teacher; however, my co-teacher is unavailable this day. This is not uncommon, and usually, another teacher would be assigned that slot to substitute teach for that day. However, in this instance, I am the only teacher who has that hour free and is qualified to teach that level. As such, I find myself in the rare position of covering my own class. 

The students are not informed when they are having a substitute teacher, so after my hour is done, I gather my materials for the second half of today’s lesson. I walk back upstairs, open the door, and see seven surprised and confused faces wondering why I have returned when they were expecting my co-teacher. One of my ten-year-old students decides to vocalize his surprise with a western colloquialism he has picked up.

“What the f***?!”

Well… at least he used it correctly.

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You Can Knot Be Serious

, , , , | Learning | January 16, 2020

(This happens in eighth grade, so we are about fourteen. During class, we are doing a writing assignment when my friend asks me:)

Friend: “Wait, do you spell ‘neck’ with a K?”

Me: “Yeah.”

(I looked at her paper; she spelled it “kneck.”)

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