Archive for September 16, 2010

In A Post, My Workweek

September 16, 2010


Monday afternoon, my principal wants to seem me. He asks me to provide him with an excuse for my failing to show for a school board meeting that night.

Why was I supposed to attend a board meeting? I was not. At a faculty meeting two weeks ago, our superintendent “invited” several of us to give a presentation, at the next board meeting, about some of  the new things our school is doing this year. Not wanting to attend that meeting or do the extra work to prepare for it, I declined the invitation. Some of my fellow teachers, though, took the word “invitation” to mean “command.” Whatever, if that was what she meant, that’s what she should have said. “Invite” means the choice was mine, and I exercised it by saying no thanks.

Unfortunately, the more sheepish among the faculty resented my decision. Why, they wanted to know, were they staying at school late and then going to the meeting while I cranked my car and went home? Thus, my principal’s request. He wasn’t faulting me, but trying to placate my co-workers. I gave him my excuse, he relayed it. They may or may not have accepted it. Either way, I went home happy.


Displeased with something I said or did, I don’t remember what, a student whom I’ll call Patrick called me a “white bastard.”

At that the other students stopped making noise and looked at me, expecting me to whip out a referral, write him up, and send him to the office where he would hastily be suspended for a few days. Instead, the following conversation took place:

Me: Wait. That’s not fair.

Patrick: What?

Me: You calling me a white bastard?

Patrick: How you mean?

Me: Because, if I called you a black bastard, you’d be in the office crying about how I’m a racist, and I’d get fired.

At that point, his friends all laughed at him, and he acknowledged the double standard. Did he learn anything? Dunno. But I did put him back in his place without having to sacrifice three days of his education.


For the first time in my career as an educator, I had a student toss their cookies in class.

The girl had said she wasn’t feeling well, and had called home. But no one had arrived yet, so I let he put her head on the desk and rest during class. About half way through, with no warning at all, not even an attempt to get to the trash can, she just lifted her head and spewed all over the floor.

My first thought was “Shit. This is the kind of thing my sister the kindergarten teacher has to deal with. I’m in high school, I shouldn’t have puking kids in my class.” My first words were “Hey, everyone shut up and get back to work.” Try as I might, though, I couldn’t get them to ignore it. So I put the class outside, escorted the girl to the office, and found the janitors to work their magic. No surprise, that was the end of productivity for that period.


An honest to God conversation

A student, I’ll call him Brandon: Mr. Wheeler, do white people even go to church?

Me: Yeah, but we worship the devil. Now get back to work.

Another student, I’ll call her Kimberly: No, they go, but they only be there for like half an hour.

Me: Just because we’re not there from nine to five listening to Reverend Cleophus bring the word doesn’t mean we don’t go at all.

Brandon: But you can’t get no real preaching in only half an hour.

Me: Exactly.


That’s tomorrow. Who knows what it will bring. Whatever it is, it’ll be interesting.