After almost 10 years in the business of education, I’ve witnessed a lot: a student using my classroom phone to schedule her abortion; a parent’s tirade during a conference that ended in her slapping her 16-year-old son upside the head and him crying; a lovely young man crashing through my classroom window as a result of a fight. Oh, some days have been fan-frickin-tastic.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the wonderful, uplifting, inspirational parts of the career. I’m gonna be remiss today.
The following is how I really want to respond when hit with an overload of stupid:
Student: I can’t believe you failed me! You’re ruining my life!
Me: Your bad attitude and inability to respectfully communicate failed you. As for your life, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say your parents ruined that.
Parent: My child needs extra help, but really doesn’t want to exert himself. Can you just give him good grades and not hold him accountable because I don’t want to spend the time helping him?
Me: You should have been sterilized.
Student: I don’t understand what the assignment is telling me to do.
Me: That’s because you haven’t read it. And you haven’t read it because you’re a lazy waste of space.
Colleague (almost always a history teacher): Would you like to collaborate on a project?
Me: That’s code for you want me to do all the work. Piss off.
Administrator: Can you mentor another teacher?
Me: Negatory. If the other teacher can’t do her job, fire her. Unless, of course, I’m getting her paycheck along with her workload. What’s that? Not happening? You, too, can piss off.
Student: I did NOT cheat!
Me: There are hyper-links in your essay.
Student: HOW DARE YOU!
Me: You literally left the “Best answer voted on by users” in your response.
Student: I WROTE EVERY WORD OF THAT MYSELF!
Me: Sure ya did. And I’m moonlighting as a math teacher.
Student: I can’t do my speech. I don’t do oral.
Me: Twitter pictures would beg to differ.
Tax payers: Teachers make too much money.
Me: We’ll gladly take a pay cut if you promise to start raising your kids so it’s no longer our responsibility to teach them manners, communication skills, time management tools, meal etiquette, AND reading, writing, and arithmetic.