That moment when a parent who gave you hell for 4 years of your teaching career somehow tracks down your phone number and calls you to say that she is sorry for everything she put you through, and she acknowledges the role she played in her children’s in-school difficulties, and she says that she heard that you are leaving the teaching profession so she didn’t want you to depart without knowing that truly, deeply, she really does appreciate everything you did for her and her two sons over the years, thus providing you with the perfect feeling of satisfied closure as you end your classroom career.
That didn’t actually happen.
I’m just saying. It’d be nice.
Instead I just walked by said parent getting drunk and smoking cigs at a neighborhood bar.
Wonder where the kids are.
“I’m cutting off your work email account at 5pm on Friday.”
— my Assistant Principal, to me, as he hugged me goodbye for the last time.
“I had an itch.”
— Kindergartener, when I walked into the bathroom and saw her standing in front of the sink with her pants completely removed.
“Oh. I just meant, like, sign your name.”
— Kid, after I wrote a very personal, thoughtful paragraph when he asked me to sign his yearbook.
Everyone I know, to me: “It’s June! You’re, like, DONE! You must be so happy!”
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:
(15 minutes later….)
The first time this happened to me, there was no sign. Please don’t underestimate the sound, vibration, and fury of this “huge rattling.” I was certain one of the following scenarios was occurring:
1) My worst childhood fear is coming true– Jaws has found a way to exist in the toilet, and the flush is his attack signal.
2) Zombie apocalypse: attack of the pipe people.
3) I’m hallucinating. Things like this don’t happen to educated professionals at their place of employment. Did I take my meds today?
4) This “bathroom” is, as I’ve always suspected, a torture chamber for serial killers, designed to implode after any sudden movements.
5) I’ve done it. I’ve angered God.
But no. Turns out we just work in a dilapidated shithole that probably once housed zoo animals.
Referring to a classroom activity…
Ok, so. NOT something boys grow out of.
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.”
(Long Pause. Entire class waits.)
Kid: <makes breathing noise again>
Today the kids are practicing using similes in poetry.
Kid (writing a poem about fish): “Scaly like…hmmmm….Miss Emily, can you please help me?”
Me: “How about ‘scaly like an old lady’s hands’…”
Kid (looks at my hands): “But your hands aren’t scaly.”
Me: “I’m not an old lady!”
Get the fuck out of my classroom.