Tag Archives: education

Lady, you found just the tutor!

A potential client called to inquire about writing lessons for her son

Potential Client: “I just want my kid to know how to write. In complete sentences. With punctuation and real words. Everything today is text-speak and emojis, I feel like he isn’t getting reinforcement for actual WRITING, and that’s still a skill that is extremely important, you know what I mean?”

Me:   img_3482

 

I got the job.

 

The Best Advice

At our end of year staff party…

Co-worker (to me): “I just want to wish you good luck in your future endeavors, and to say thank you so much for all your help when I first started here.”

Me: “Aw, thank you! But I definitely don’t remember being of any help at all!”

Co-worker: “No, you totally were. You gave me the best advice.”

Me: “Oh? What was that?”

Co-worker: “You said, ‘I’ve been here 4 years and I have no idea what I’m doing. If I haven’t gotten caught yet, neither will you.'”

It’s probably good I left the system.

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Tales From the State Test

Dear NYC Department of Education,

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You’re probably looking at this photo and thinking “Hmmm, what am I looking at here?”

Well I’ll tell you what you’re looking at.

This is a picture of a GIANT FUCKING COCKROACH, roughly the size of my man-handed fist, trapped underneath a book bin, then secured with a chair. This massive fella decided to show himself in the middle of the NY state test today, casually sauntering across the library floor like he owned the place, causing two of my 4th graders to jump out of their chairs, and, subsequently, the entire room to start screaming bloody murder.

As the only adult in the room, I had to act quickly and maturely.  This consisted of me screaming “EVERYBODY STAY CALM!!!!!!” like a batshit psycho, while darting across the room to the shelves, grabbing the nearest book bin, dumping out the entirety of its contents onto a table where 4 kids were test-taking, holding my breath, and trying to retrace the life choices that had lead me to this exact moment in time, so that I could undo them.

Once I trapped it beneath the bin, I put a chair on top of it, just in case that motherfucker decided to try something funny. Trust no one, DOE.

After the chair was secured and I had both swallowed the vomit in my throat and wiped the tears from my eyes, the kids were asked to sit for another hour, alongside the cockroach, and finish their exams.

So that’s why everyone failed.

Love,
Miss Emily

The Results of State Testing

Tomorrow begins state testing. My 9-year-old students will come to school and sit for hours to take a test that is not remotely reflective of what they know, who they are, or what they are capable of achieving.

So in honor of these torturous, painful, anxiety-inducing tests that my young students have to suffer through and I have to watch them suffer through, I quit my job.

Hah, just kidding!

That’s not why I quit.

It makes me feel pretty good about my decision, though.

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Ok yeah it’s a little bit why I quit.

 

 

 

A Teaching Metaphor

People often ask me what it’s like to teach at a city public school, so I figured I’d go ahead and create a pat answer that almost anyone can relate to.

You know that feeling you have when you’re trying to fold a fitted sheet? It’s like that.

But instead of one sheet, you’re folding 30 sheets at the same time.

And every sheet has its own unique challenge, in addition to the inherent challenge of it being a GODDAMN FITTED SHEET THAT WON’T FOLD.

Some of the sheets have holes in them, and no matter how gentle you try to be, you end up accidentally ripping them more, because they’re just too damn fragile.

Some are as stiff as cardboard and simply can’t be bent in any direction, no matter how hard you push, tug, and pull.

Some smell like stale sweat so you have to figure out a way to fold them without breathing, lest you vomit.

Some are falling apart at the seams.

Some have bed bugs.

Some are tear-stained.

Some are straight up covered in pee.

But you’re still expected to fold all 30 of them every single day, all at the same time, and put them neatly away. In a pristine pile. In a tiny, overheated closet that can’t possibly hold a pile of 30 sheets.

Then at 3pm, EVERY SINGLE DAY (even on the days you DO manage to create an actual pristine pile, which happens an average of 1 day per decade), the sheet manufacturers come by, rip open your tiny closet, rummage through your neat pile, and derail everything you worked so hard to do.

But don’t worry, you get another chance to fold them bright and early the next morning.

And every morning.

For the rest of your life.

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But yeah otherwise teaching is great!

Every Child Left Behind (in a pool of tears and anxiety-induced vomit)

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Teachers, people with children, or anyone who knows or cares about teachers or children, this John Oliver rant on standardized testing is a MUST WATCH.

Every bit of it is hilarious because it’s so painfully and pathetically true.

Two of my personal fave highlights:

1. “Pearson are the educational equivalent to Time Warner Cable– either you’ve never had an interaction with them and don’t care, or….they HAVE RUINED YOUR FUCKING LIFE.”

2. Did anyone else know that Pearson uses Craigslist to recruit test-graders? Yes, that’s right– “Pearson chooses test graders the same way that you’d look for a mattress full of bedbugs or a no-strings-attached hand job.” This is like when I found out that Sing at Camp Robindel was judged by the local balloon lady. (sorry to the 99% of readers who have NO idea what I’m referring to, but to the 1% who do, you know the EXACT disappointed feeling I’m talking about).