I looked up and down the roster. Upperclassmen. Good. I can categorically say that I dislike freshmen.
Wait, that’s harsh. I should say, I hate most freshmen.
Not all. Just most.
AP. Advanced placement. Already the standards have been set. High standards to boot.
These forty students took these high standards and tossed them in the garbage can.
One student, let’s call him Sheldon (not his real name), and his band of chronies refused to take notes, stating that they never take notes in class.
I nodded, thinking that he probably had a photographic memory. I respect different ways of learning. Or memorizing as it were.
And then, he and his friends talked during an entire student presentation. I asked them to be quiet. They lowered their voices. They raised their voices to correct the pronounciation of students presenting!
The arrogance was unnerving, irritating, and slap-worthy. I am surprised no one did. I would have stopped it if someone tried. Maybe not in time but still I would have stopped it.
And so it gives me great pleasure to share anecdotes of the perfect job, where I have the opportunity to interact with our youth, their parents, and educators.
Where, if I do not feel my awesomeness is appreciated at a particular site, I can turn down the assignment.
Where I can make my own hours, choosing to schedule around Vanessa’s Cardio Dance (nee Zumba) class if I choose.
Where I can feel hope that the future of civiliaton is in good hands or doomed to hell, depending on the regular teacher’s classroom management.
Where jobs subbing for PE teachers means wearing (tasteful) yoga pants and gym shoes and getting an extra few thousand steps in the day.
Where I have to explain myself to random parents when their children recognize me at the grocery store.
Where kids miss their teachers so much that it is heartbreaking to see their disappointed faces. On the same note, where kids miss their teachers so much that they complain to their friends how mean their sub is.
Oh, I don’t take it personally when students misbehave. I will call out a student on rudeness but avoid power struggles and arguments. It’s like being a mom, I suppose. I am not here to be your friend or even to make your life miserable. It takes a village so consider me the witch doctor.
Other scenarios I have witnessed:
* I watched a student secretly pop piece of candy in his mouth after I gave explicit instructions not to eat in class. He saw me watching him but avoids eye contact as if not looking at me will erase my memory.
* Same student is looking down at his cell phone, hidden under the desk. His friend leans over and laughs. I said, “Put it away.” He does but only to bring it out a few minutes later. Dumbass. Just as a Pinterest post said,
I know when you are looking at your cell phones. No one looks down at their crotch and smiles.
* A student crumpled up a piece of paper and threw it across several rows of desks into the garbage. He missed as I happened to walk by. He said, “I’ll get it! Don’t worry!” I replied, “Like I was going to clean up after you.” (I said this with a smirk so he knew I was kidding.)
* Another student thought he could throw away garbage by tossing it across a row. He missed and went to go pick it up but not before he shared half of his sandwich with his friend. He even gave his friend a slice first! That was a touching moment I have to admit but I didn’t want to embarass him in front of the class by saying something Mommy-like. I have a tendency to do that. Even the preschooler gets embarassed.
* The teacher did not log onto her computer, forcing students to rely on an Elmo (a really high tech overhead projector) instead of a Powerpoint slide show. One of the students (it was in fact from a previous anecdote) said, “Are you serious? You are not doing your presentation with Powerpoint? How ghetto is that?” Seriously. He said that. Yup, I took a deep breath. Several.