Tag Archives: school

He’s the Best Person To Complain To

Me (frustrated and annoyed): “This kid I’m tutoring is being extremely difficult and disrespectful. He is obsessed with talking about poop. OBSESSED. Finally I told him that if he doesn’t stop, I’m not going to tutor him anymore. And right after I said that, I took out a book and asked him to read the word ‘wanted.’ He looked at me, looked at the word, smiled and said ‘poop.’ I nearly lost it.”

(Long pause) 

Eric: “I like him!”

June– It’s Not Good

Everyone I know, to me: “It’s June! You’re, like, DONE! You must be so happy!”

No.

Fucking, just, no. No, no, no.

I’m sure this is very difficult for non-teachers to understand, but June is actually one of the worst months of the year in our profession. June carries with it a very specific, very potent, very excruciating kind of misery that is like the 3rd cousin of, but not directly related to, the general misery that permeates months September through May.

The kids are OUT. OF. CONTROL. The end-of-year housekeeping tasks are never ending and mind-numbingly dull. Administration is in a state of perpetual pissed-off. The building is 972 degrees, whether it’s a cool or hot day outside. Makes no difference. Heat and humidity of any kind gets trapped, it rises, the air conditioner breaks (if it even worked in the first place), and suddenly you feel as though you are trapped on the E-train platform in the dead of August. Surrounded by other people’s sweaty, prepubescent children. For 8 hours straight.

It’s not good.

So please. I know you all mean well, but save the “You’re done! You must be so happy!” for June 28th, 3:01pm, and not a moment before (or 3:10pm if you want a particularly animated response, as I’ll be 7 shots deep by then).

Because here’s what’s happening now:

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(15 minutes later….)

 

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Today, Junior

During a whole-group lesson about personification, writing a poem with the kids. 

Us: “How can we personify the sound leaves make in the breeze?”

Kid (raises hand): <makes loud breathing noise> 

Us: “Ok, but how might we say that in words?”

Kid: <makes breathing sound again> 

Us: “Ok, but we are writing a poem, so we need WORDS.”

Kid: “Ok, hold on.”

Us: “WORDS.”

(Long Pause. Entire class waits.)

Kid: <makes breathing noise again>

Boys Are Gross

My 4th grade student told me about her slightly older brother having a sleepover with his friends at their apartment.

Kid: “So I knew he was having a sleepover with all boys so OBVIOUSLY I made plans to sleep at my friend’s house.”

Me: “Oh, yeah. Wise move.”

Kid: “But then my friend got sick and I couldn’t go! So I had to be there with all the boys. AND IT WAS CHAOS.”

Me: “Oh, I can imagine! Boys can be wild.”

Kid: “Yeah but you don’t even understand. Before they went to bed…they did the grossest thing…”

Me: “I’m scared….”

Kid: “They ALL TOOK OFF THEIR SHIRTS.”

Me (relieved but feigning drama): “What?! NO! Their SHIRTS?!”

Kid: “I know. It. Was. DISGUSTING! Boys are soooo gross!!!”

Oh, girlfriend. Just you wait.

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Early Warning Signs of Social Awkwardness

When I was a 4th grader, I dressed up as Michael Jackson for Halloween by putting on a wig, a glove, and covering my entire face in white face paint.

Fifteen years later, it is just now occurring to me how horribly offensive that was. I somehow managed, at age 9, to unknowingly create a more awkward and offensive scenario than going in blackface. I even remember one neighbor hesitating to give me candy. I figured he just wasn’t a Michael fan.

The year before that, in 3rd grade, I went as a hobo. I wore a sign around my neck that said “Buddy, can you spare a dime?” In the town of Potomac, Maryland, where there is now a Real Housewives series (inexplicably devoid of any Jews or white people, but that’s a subject for another post) being filmed. Enough said. We had a school Halloween parade (this was back in the days when schools let children have fun), and I marched through the halls and recess yard wearing my dirty t-shirt, disheveled hair, and “hilarious” sign. The other Potomac parents loved it. The other students didn’t get it (they had never seen a poor person). The teachers, who could not afford to live in Potomac, looked away. I figured maybe they felt bad that they didn’t have a dime to give me.

“Don’t worry!” I told my teacher, laughing. “You don’t REALLY have to give me money!”

She did not smile.

Finally, at age 16, I decided to be something normal for Halloween. A friend was throwing a big Halloween dance party, and I went as Cinderella. Full-blown floor length ball gown, crown, the works.

“Finally!” my mom cried as she dropped me off at the party, “I’ve tried for years to get you wear something like this for Halloween!”

I rolled my eyes, slid the mini-van door closed, and walked into the party, fluffing my skirt upon entrance.

I was the only one in costume.

It’s a wonder I ever leave the apartment.

 

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Insider Advice

A parent of one of my students came in for a meeting…

Parent: “Some of the kids have been calling my son a ‘whiny little bitch’ at recess, and it’s really hurting his feelings. What should he do?”

Me: “Oh my goodness! I had no idea this was happening. Well, I think he needs to start by standing up for himself and telling these kids that he will not tolerate their name-calling.”

He might also want to consider not being such a whiny little bitch.

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Famous 

Eric came to school to have lunch with me. We intersected in the lobby as I dropped the kids off for lunch. 

Me: “Kids, say hi to Eric!”

Kids (in unison): “HIIII ERIC!!”

Kids (whispering to each other): “Who is he?!?”

Smart kid: “Oh, I know you!! You’re the guy from all the math word problems!”

That is correct.