Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why I Would Never Be A Public School Teacher

I'll never be a public school teacher. I commend them because I just couldn't do it.

Don't give a damn -- There are kids, teachers, parents, and administrators who just don't give a damn about a proper education, the students, or property. The staff is so resigned and the students are so rebellious--burnt out on a broken system-- that I'm not actually teaching anything that will stick. It's some Freedom Writers shit. At that rate, I'll become as resigned as any other tenured teacher.

Freezing Classrooms -- Winter and summer, it's always like 30 degrees. WTF?

Can't Touch This -- If a kid leaves the classroom, it's my problem or my fault. However, I can't touch these kids and pull them back in. If they enter a classroom late without a pass, I can't remove them. And they fucking know it. They'll say or do things just to antagonize teachers for fun like this kid from the movie Role Models. What the hell am I supposed to do?

I think, if a high schooler leaves, that's his prerogative. If he tries to come in without a pass, I can shut the door on his face. If I send him to the office and he doesn't go, I do not want to be accountable.

Homework -- If I wanted to do more work (for no pay), I would still be in school.

The DreadedRed Pen and Other Coddling -- I'm sorry, but I can't write in a certain color because it might hurt someone? I already know I can't touch them or face physical/sexual assault charges, but really? In some cases, I can't even take their phones even if it's interrupting a lesson because it's their property. 

If a student mouths off or interrupts my class, then I should be able to send him out of the room. To hell, if he goes to the office or somewhere else. Do you think a boss that fires you makes sure you get home okay? Do you think he cares if he writes his memo edits in red ink or blue ink?
Parents vs. Teachers: how it should be

Summers Off -- I like to be busy, believe it or not. I've had a summer off before and I nearly went crazy.

Parents -- Just no. Even if I was rated the best at dealing with parents and behavioral incidents during my time in the Rockies, it doesn't mean I liked it. "Why didn't my kid get an A?" Because your kid does NO work and mouths off and leaves the room a mess. And yes, I count keeping your space tidy as part of your grade. I'm not going to be a personal maid to 30 students as well as a teacher, counselor, babysitter, and anything else.

Parents vs. Teachers: how it is

Teach to Test -- It's no longer about what they want to know. It's about the grade, the score, the profit. Can I take time out of a lecture to digress on a topic the kids might be interested in? Not if it's not in the curriculum.

Easy A -- Everyone deserves an A now. A is for Average. A is an Attempt.

One Kid, Two Kid, Red Kid, Blue Kid -- I would have to teach kids from remedial to AP, which is not a problem of bending to skill level or patience. It's a problem of respect. I want to teach kids who want to learn, or at least value my attention to their future.

So yeah, public school is not my place. I want to teach kids that want to learn and don't have the opportunity rather than those that feel entitled and waste it. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Hard It Is To Quit

My mom smoked Marlboros for most her life. When she found out they were bad for you, she switched to Lights. I'd wait by the back door, smelling the sweet tobacco slip under the cracks, while I waited for her serve lunch.

When my sisters and I learned about cancer, we set out a crusade. We stole her cigarettes, chopped them up, and washed them down the sink. We banished her from smoking in the car and in the house and posted pictures of dying lungs on every exit.

It didn't even faze her.

My mom could quit everything, but cigarettes and my dad. That's not to say my mom was a quitter, or that she never tried quitting. She would quit cold turkey, use the patch or move out.  She'd chew gum, get a job or get pregnant.

Quitting had a hair trigger though. Six months, nine months, sometimes even a year. Money troubles. Her mother. Our father. And she was right back to it, to him.

I told her once she'd have more money if she stopped smoking a pack a day. She tried to prove me wrong and then told me to mind my business when she couldn't.

"You just don't understand how hard it is to quit."

No, I guess I don't.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer Loves

I love too hard.

I do.

His hair looked like it had been burned by the sun. Red hot.

When I want something, I want it. When I love something, I love it until it turns black and sour.

I am intensity.

Listening to a tape deck in an purple-carpeted car while the Plains--stretching into nothingness--whip past.

I am no quitter.

But I have to admit that things can't go on this way.

"I met somebody."

A pain so bright it steals the words from my throat.

No, things can't go on this way.