October 25, 2006

What Drives Teachers to Drink

Students who don't do their work.

Students who, in their 9th year of education, cannot remember to put their names on their papers.

Giving the same directions 20 times a day.

Parents who don't want their students to take responsibility for their own actions.

Needing caffeine and finding only a empty Pepsi can on my desk.

Parents who think that their students should have extra opportunities to turn in work for full credit because they, the parent, didn't know about the missing assignments the very day it was missing.

Parents who think that because they are trying hard to be good parents that we teachers should allow their students to make up work--for full credit--including work done that should have been completed 7 weeks ago.

Being out of chocolate.

Parents who would like students to redo the work they turned in late and incomplete for full credit. Isn't my letting students turn in late work, although with a penalty, their chance to complete an assignment? Too bad they chose to do a crappy job and turn it in late.

Parents who who signed the course expectation but don't really care what it actually says.

My own internal struggles as I wish I could actually make it a rule to never accept late work, like I did when I taught high school, and how I know many teachers who teach at our target high schools do.

Needing mittens in my classroom because the air conditioner is still on, but it's now actually sweater weather. Finding mittens in LV when it's only October.

Trying to be kind to the students of difficult parents, especially when left alone, the students in question might actually pull it together on their with a little guidance, rather than having their parents bail them out.

Not knowing how to be professional and caring when decent students of difficult parents are obviously trying to reach out and make a connection with me, as other students sometimes do, but I'd rather not even speak to the student in fear of adding more flame to the fire. Or having it used against me in a court of law somehow.

Feeling alone and overwhelmed.

Parents who pay visits to my classroom, not to observe how their students are doing/not doing, but to observe me. Perhaps these parents should save my administrator some time and go ahead and file those reports to her, aye?

Not knowing that the visiting parents were actually there to accumulate dirt on me that could later be used in a public complaint.

Forgetting to stock Tums in my desk.

Using up my entire prep to attend "important meetings" but actually wasting 15-20 minutes waiting for the meeting to begin or for people to show up.

Broken copy machines.

Parents who say they've left voice messages but actually haven't. I've had two (2) parents leave a voice message this year. I think I might have caught it if the parent in question was one.

Following the administrative directives but then having parents complain.

Getting called into the principal's office one day and the vice-principal's the next. (At least I have a trouble buddy. We've been sharing the meetings.)

Somehow being involved in a big school conflict but not really sure how I got there.

Walking into a meeting about said conflict and feeling a little lost because it's larger than me and what's going on in my classroom.

Having problems with the prescribed computer programs and applications. Problems? How about wasting my time trying to do things like load rosters, only to have the programs freeze. Huge time waster. I wonder if we pay a lot of money for these things.

Not wanting to take pills for my headache because I can't chase it with Tums.

The 3-foot stack of papers that I wanted to have done tomorrow so I can take the weekend off.

Supporting Red Ribbon Week and not being able to take the necessary drugs that might make that 3-foot stack more enjoyable.

Not knowing how to score some of the drugs anyway.

Having to go home to my own (step)children and be alert and kind when I just want to go to happy hour like in the good old days of being single.

Adding all of the above up to get the mother of all bad weeks. Adding is bad.

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