Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stories from a Middle School English Teacher: Quality Suckle and 75 Minutes

Quality Suckage
I assigned homework one day and as I handed it out I told the students, “This is due tomorrow no later. Do not come in tomorrow and tell me you left it at home, your dog at it, you spilled juice on it, you left it in your locker, NONE of it.”

One of the kids in the back of the room raised his hand and said, “What if it gets sucked up in a vacuum?”

The girl next to him gave him a withering look and said, “A vacuum is not going to be able to suck up whole sheets of paper.”

The boy retorted, “Hey, it’s a quality vacuum!”

75 Minutes
After teaching at two different schools I have noticed that new teachers go through a sort of hazing process. The veteran teachers don’t feel the need to get to know you, think you are intelligent in any respect, or even really treat you as a human until they are confident that you will be around for awhile and have proven your worth.

This was the issue I had with an elderly teacher in my grade level. One morning we were both in the copy room and were looking over the new schedule that had been adjusted for testing by 15 minutes when I decided to make conversation.

Here is the transcript:

Me: I don't know what to do with the extra 15 minutes today
Queen Bee: What do you mean?
Me: Classes are 75 minutes long today instead of 60, I don't know what to do with the extra 15 minutes
Queen Bee (with reproach): Honey, what are you talking about? Classes are an hour and fifteen minutes today.
Me: ....(Long pause) isn't that...75 minutes?
Queen Bee:...oh

Some fun things to note about this conversation is that while I am nowhere near a math whiz (in fact I am atrocious at math) I think I am able to figure out that an hour and fifteen minutes and 75 minutes are the same thing at a glance.

On the other hand the teacher who argued with me had been a math teacher for fifteen years. Yay for public education at its finest!

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