Thursday, October 6, 2016

Short Stories from a Middle School Teacher: Step Away with Your Hands Up

Step Away with Your Hands Up
At the start of my third year at CMS we spent five days in professional developments. I spent 40 hours straight being developed. I learned what “color” personality I supposedly have. I learned that it is a good idea to “teach” when I am in the classroom. And I also learned that research shows that if you call a student dumb they probably won’t want to work hard for you. It was the most mind numbingly dull and pointless thing I have ever partaken in. Although to be fair, I don’t think I will ever meet a teacher who will say, “You know that last 40 hours I spent being developed was really beneficial.” I am willing to bargain that you are more likely to shake hands with an abominable snowman moonlighting as Elvis Presley than you are to find a teacher who says that.

During these 40 hours all my friends and I waited patiently (mostly because we were in a comatose-like state) to find out what was really important to us, which kids we were going to be teaching.

One afternoon, towards the end of the week the administrators began stacking the schedules on tables in the cafeteria while the teachers were being dismissed for lunch. Adam and I decided to walk by the table on our way out of the room. We were a good two feet away from the table when all of a sudden a booming noise flooded the cafeteria. It was so loud that Jordon and I (as well as most of the cafeteria) ducked our heads preparing ourselves for sky to fall or something just as disastrous.

It turns out that it was our ASS. Principal getting on the microphone to say, “Did anyone tell you to touch that? No, I don’t think they did. Yes, I am talking to YOU Mr. Jensen and Ms. Potter. Move away from the table NOW. Everyone else, as these two have demonstrated no one should touch their schedules until the end of the day. PERIOD.”

It was exactly like the nightmare in which you show up naked to school and hope no one notices, but of course EVERYONE is staring at you. All 350 people from the district were staring in our direction reproachfully when we turned our heads. As quickly as possible (which felt longer than the 35 hours we just endured) we made our way out of the cafeteria.

Adam and I spent the entirety of our hour long lunch break recounting how embarrassing the incident was. We considered ditching the rest of the day so scorned were we. Finally, we sucked it up and drove back to school.

When we returned to the cafeteria we saw a group of teachers, who had given us such a hard time the year before, were actually rooting through the schedules on the table, moving them this way and that.

Without a word Adam and I decided to take front seats to the fireworks we knew were imminent when the ASS. principal returned. FINALLY, retribution for all we had to endure the previous two years was on its way!

When we saw her enter the cafeteria I’m certain that our eyes were sparkling with anticipation when we saw her gaze fell on the group at the table.

She walked with purpose toward the table as Adam and I held our breath.

When she reached the table she said, “Were you all able to find your schedules?” and proceeded to have a pleasant conversation with them about their classes and students before saying, “Guess it’s Time to get back to work huh?”

Adam threw up his hands and said, “Oh come ON!” and walked out of the cafeteria all the while receiving a withering look from the ASS. Principal for yet ANOTHER disruption.

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