I miss teaching. Although I’m still working in a school this year, I’m not a classroom teacher. I get to sub several times a week, which I love, but it only makes me remember how much I miss having my own students and classes.
I found this draft of a blog post I started writing last school year. Maybe it was good for me to read to remember that teaching isn’t all Dead Poet’s Society and Freedom Writers. Sometimes it’s Planet of the Apes meets Lord of the Flies.
[Teaching is perhaps the only job where you simultaneously adore what you do all day and also want to stick bamboo shoots under your fingernails to distract you from the pain of being surrounded by 240 pubescent, undeveloped brains. Yesterday, things leaned strongly towards bamboo shoots.
The first class, usually the most placid, was out of control. And by out of control, I mean it was like all my other classes, which I couldn’t handle that early in the morning. The entire 80 minutes was comprised of me trying to accomplish anything while being barraged with questions and advice like these:
“Ms. Poulson, you got the date wrong on the board. You haven’t changed it from yesterday. Why haven’t you changed it yet?!”
“Ms. Poulson, there is a typo on this paper. It’s supposed to be spelled P-R-I-N-C-I-P-A-L, not P-R-I-N-C-P-L-E.” (No, I’d put the right spelling.)
“Ms. Poulson, you’re so mean. You have a space heater by your desk but the rest of your classroom is freezing and I can’t learn because it’s too cold and you won’t let me sit at your desk because you’re selfish.”
“Ms. Poulson, you need to turn the volume up all the way on the computer. It’s too quiet.” (The volume was turned up all the way.)
“Ms. Poulson, plug in the speakers. I can’t hear anything! And make sure the volume is turned up on the speakers! Did you plug them in yet?” (The speakers were broken, as I had explained to them earlier.)
“Make it full screen. You click on that thing there at the bottom. Do you see it?! Click on it! Click on it NOW!”]
I don’t actually remember that day, but I can tell you it almost surely ended in tears. A few weeks ago, my mom posted this quote on my Facebook:
“Teaching seems to require the sort of skills one would need to pilot a bus full of live chickens backwards, with no brakes, down a rocky road through the Andes while simultaneously providing colorful and informative commentary on the scenery.”
And it’s the truth. And I can’t wait to get back into the driver’s seat.
…Aaaaand, just for fun: