My Name Is “My Name Is”

, , , , , | Learning | October 2, 2018

(I am in my eighth-grade Spanish class, in our third year of taking it, and we have to give this little “presentation” where we have a conversation with our partner in Spanish, meant to be structured like an interview.)

Student #1: “Hola, me llamo [Student #1].” *Hi, my name is [Student #1].*

Student #2: “Hola, me llamo [Student #2].” *Hi, my name is [Student #2].*

Student #1: “¿Comó te llamas?” *What is your name?*

(The class exploded with laughter. The teacher looked like she wanted to bang her head against the desk.)

Flipped Their Last Bird

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 11, 2018

I have severe motor skill impediments, which includes an inability to lift parts of my hands independently. In gym class, there are two teachers; one is hated as she is extremely strict, rude, and generally not nice.

We are playing soccer out on the field, and the opposing team is a group of bullies who are well-known for accusing people of things they didn’t do. My team has just scored a goal, and the bullies, who dislike me a lot, run up to the teacher, claiming that I flipped them off. The teacher, who also dislikes me due to my lack of athletic ability, immediately yells at me, while I try to explain to her what really happened.

She sends me to the discipline secretary, who is a notoriously cranky woman who loves her job and hates kids. Upon hearing what the teacher said, she writes a referral, and tells me to sign it.

I stubbornly refuse to sign it, as I have done nothing wrong.

They call my dad in, and, when they had explain the “situation” to him, he tells me to do something any student would love to do: flip the teacher off. I do so, or try to; due to my motor skill problems, I cannot lift my middle finger by itself. Upon seeing this, the principal decides that I am telling the truth.

The bullies get detention for lying to the principal. After a full investigation, which includes several union reps, the teacher is reprimanded, and fired the next year. Turns out that this is not her first lying incident to cover for her favorite students.

I’m A BASIC B****

, , , , , , , , | Learning | July 25, 2018

This is back when we have orange monochrome monitors and 5.25 floppy disks. My science class has this nifty idea to integrate the use of the computer lab into the curriculum.

Basically, we are to create a small, multiple-choice quiz program about the current subject. The code is all in place, and we just have to edit specific sections to add the content. Their mistake is that three or four students share the same floppy, just in a different period. I know enough of the Basic computer language to figure out how the software works. I change the answer responses of the quiz of the kid in the other class. Instead of, “Correct, good job!” and, “Incorrect, try again,” I change it to the middle-school sarcastic, “Way to go…” and a super naughty, “Wrong, you dumb b****!”

Since there are only two to three main suspects who share the disk, they find me out pretty quick. I don’t get in any real trouble. They want to know how I knew how to do that, and if I changed any other files. Since I am a boring, quiet introvert, I pretty much get away without any detention, just a good scare.

Re-emergence Of The Contrarian Librarian

, , , , , | Learning | July 14, 2018

(I am a substitute teacher. Most teachers leave strict rules for me to follow, but even if the lesson plan is vague, I never let kids leave the classroom without a call from the office. My only exception is going to the library. I was allowed this as a student, and I think encouraging literacy is paramount. But then, this happens at a middle school.)

Sixth Grader #1: “Miss, I’m done with my work. Can I play on the computer?”

Me: “Your teacher said you must either do your work or complete work from another class. I will allow you to read, on the honor system, if you are done with school work.”

Sixth Grader #1: “But I don’t have a book.”

Me: “Okay, you may take the hall pass and go the library. Since it’s right outside this wing, you can have ten minutes.”

(Several other students want to go, so I allow the original and a second to go, saying the others can go in twos when they come back. Ten minutes later, they return with books and sit down, and I send out the next group. They come back after only five minutes with no books.)

Me: “Didn’t find anything to read?”

Sixth Grader #2: “No ma’am, the librarian spotted us and wanted to know what we were doing. When we told her, she asked how the other two had checked out books, because she hadn’t seen anyone.”

Me: “What?!”

(I turn to the first two who are reading books.)

Me: “Did the librarian check out those books to you?”

Sixth Grader #1: “What does that mean?”

Me: *flabbergasted* “When you went into the library, what did you do? Did you see another teacher or an adult?”

Sixth Grader #1: “We went in, saw a stack of books, each took one, and came back.”

Me: “Oh, dear God, you stole books?!”

(I then ask all the students in the class how they thought libraries work. Imagine my shock when not one of these sixth graders knows that to get a book from the library, you have to have a librarian sign it out of the system for you, or that you must return the books. I explain the process to them, and take back the books from the other students to return later. But the story doesn’t end there. The books they have “stolen” are Pre-K level, barely ten pages long. When I visit the library on my break to explain, I have this conversation with the librarian.)

Me: “Have the children not had a class on the library yet?”

Librarian: “The students do not have classes in the library, or about the library.”

Me: “Why is that? And why are these books for toddlers, not middle-schoolers?”

Librarian: “The students struggle to read big books, so we have books on their level. And we don’t allow them in the library, because they will destroy the books.”

Me: “Wait, not only are the books way below level, but they can’t even come in here? What kind of a place are you running?!”

Librarian: “I don’t appreciate your tone, ma’am! I work hard; I’ll have you know I’m in here every other week. Most schools can only get a librarian in once a month!”

Me: “My God, it’s the Apocalypse.”

(This is why I’m looking for a job outside of education, instead of moving from sub to full-time. I don’t want to teach kids to NOT read!)

The Inattentiveness Of The Contrarian Librarian
Attack Of The Contrarian Librarian
Fall Of The Contrarian Librarian

The Studious Dead

, , , , , | Learning | July 10, 2018

(It is near the end of the year in middle school before we take the state tests. We have a great English teacher who is giving us fun essay prompts so that we can enjoy test prep more, since it’s pretty boring. These assignments are graded. The prompt today is for us to practice our persuasive essay writing, with an essay on whether or not humans could survive a zombie apocalypse. We are an “enriched” class, so, following the stereotype, most of us are really nerdy and have a lot of fun discussing the topic and writing about it. One student in my class who is known for complaining starts up. She complains every day, and has even yelled at our teacher on multiple occasions.)

Class: *talking quietly amongst ourselves and writing*

Student: *in a loud an obnoxious voice and standing up* “Mrs. [Teacher], the prompt is unrealistic. I don’t want to do it. A zombie apocalypse is never going to happen, so it doesn’t matter if we would survive or not.”

Class: *goes quiet*

Teacher: *about done with her complaints at this point* “[Student], your idea that complaining will help you pass the state test is unrealistic. Sit down and start writing, or if you really don’t want to do it, then take an F. I’m trying to make this fun for you guys.”

Student: “I can’t take an F. I need straight As to keep my honor roll streak, but this assignment is stupid and I’m not doing it.”

Teacher: “Well, if you don’t do it, you get an F, and if you keep complaining, you can leave. Neither is going to get you on the honor roll, though, [Student].”

Student: “That’s not fair. This is so stupid.”

Teacher: “Life isn’t fair. Now, you can either sit quietly and do your work, or take an F and leave.” *calmly sits back into her chair watching*

Student: “UGH!” *sits down and pouts*

Teacher: *smiles to herself at her victory*

(I love this teacher.)

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