Bob Barker sneering is not a pretty sight. His genuine disgust is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow for the rest of my life, no joke! I have failed to blog about my hilarious children and awesome job since I switched schools and became a Lion. Unacceptable. Thank you Bob for setting me upon the path of blogging righteousness…can I spin the wheel now?!
Anyway, the transition to OHS has been awesome. I have a wonderful AP, fabulous co-workers who I actually get to collaborate with, and some sassy-a$$ kiddos. God love ’em. I think the kids have finally adjusted to my style of teaching and have accepted the fact that I am not going anywhere. I had one kid ask me if I would be leaving, and I told him I was staying for the rest of the year JUST to harass him. Fool thinks he’s gonna shake me that easily? Please.
All that to say that I love my job! 🙂 Also, here are some quotes that I have scrounged up from the last month or so…
Student: “Are those your real eyes?”
student: “No way. No they’re not.”
me: “You’re right.”
Student: “Are you trying to be a teacher?”
me: “Sweetie, I am a teacher. I’ve been one for seven years.”
Student: “What kind of teacher are you?”
me: “A damn good one.”
me: “Who can think of a word association for carnal(sexual appetite)?”
student: “Carnival, since you want to ride the rides over and over again!”
Apparently, hell is located in my 5th period class, or at least that’s what I was told today by a student. Where are these magical gates that lead us to the underworld, young student? I do wonder…
teacher: “Please welcome Mrs. Johnson. She’ll be replacing Mrs. Soandso.”
student: “Yeah, let’s make her feel really “welcome”. haha. Welcome to hell!”
Well hot dang! If only I had known that I would be working in the underworld itself, I might not have taken this job. hahahaha…NOT. Should I be concerned that this kid essentially called himself a demon? Me thinks not. I think I will happily accept the challenge of dealing with this “demon child” and his fellow “demon children”. That’s right, kid. You.Can’t.Scare.Me. I worked in inner-city Philly! What now?!
September 19th will be my last day at my current high school. Just typing that feels weird. I never thought there would be a last day with my kids. In my mind, I was going to be with my amazing students until my husband got his PhD and we moved to pursue whatever job offer he accepted. Unfortunately, circumstances at my school have pushed me beyond my breaking point, and God has graciously provided a job at another high school.
I think this experience has really shown me that, generally speaking, people don’t do a good enough job of appreciating those around them. I felt taken for granted by a lot of people, by people who didn’t quite understand the demands of my job, or the realities of being limited by the fact that I am a human. One, single human. Well, this one, single human pledges to do her very best to not take people in her life for granted. Students–I love you all!! Family–you’re the greatest!! Friends–couldn’t ask for better ones!! Husby–AMAZING!! My God–You repeatedly provide for me and sustain me, and I praise You for that!! Readers, go thank someone right now. Get up. Walk away from your all-consuming technological device, and tell someone you love them, care for them, and appreciate them. *steps off podium*
Anyway, my students have been showering me with hilarious comments in response to my decision to leave, and I thought I would share those with you, dear reader. So, enjoy. 🙂
“Mrs. Johnson, we need a lock of your hair so we can tape it to the wall. Then, when the new person tries to touch it, we can yell at them for trying to touch the sacred hair of Johnson.”
“You’re leaving us? Well, I think I need to unbutton another button in your honor.”
“Mrs. Johnson, I am going to drop out of school and go OD on a corner!”
“You can’t leave us. Who else can do what you do? I don’t think anyone else can.”
“I am going to get a tattoo on my entire back of your face.”
Hahaha… seriously y’all, I am going to miss my kids like crazy. They are the best! I have written a letter to them that I will pass out on my last day. I’ve posted it below. Happy Friday, and go hug someone you appreciate!
My darling students,
Shakespeare once wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow”, which is exactly how I feel about parting from you all. My departure is definitely bittersweet. On the one hand, I am doing what I need to do for my family. On the other hand, I am leaving behind such a special group of students.
So, how do you deal with that? How do you deal with doing what is right for one family but so wrong for the other family? Honestly, I think this letter is my way of coping. It is also my way of leaving some last words with you all, my kiddos. I truly see you all as my kids. You are a part of who I am. I love you all so much. You each possess wonderful, unique, and incredible qualities that make you so amazing. You all have genuinely been the BEST part of my time here at LMHS, and for that, I thank you. “Thank you!” <–See, I thanked you! 🙂
Promise me that you will always try your best, even when you feel like the world has beaten you down. Promise me that you will continue to encourage one another, even when you are beyond annoyed with each other. Promise me that you will continue to see the best in yourself, even when others are raining negativity upon you. Promise me you will treat the new teacher well, since he will be the next person to look out for you. And finally, promise me you will always see yourself as I do—wonderful, resilient, hilarious, smart, and so worthy of love and a good life.
Your educational system is in dire need of attention. Yeah, yeah. I know you’ve got some crises abroad to address, and I know election season is here, and I definitely know that there are some extremely pressing domestic issues you have to attend to–trust me, I get it; however, your educational system is on life support, and only you can save it.
Yeah, I think I will try appealing to your ego, first. America, F yeah! Here to save, the mother F’n day, yeah! I know the movie “Team America” was making fun of the fact that you feel the need to save every country that ever existed ever, but I thought the movie’s most well-known musical number would remind you of a crucial fact-you are a superpower. You save lives, America! You take care of children far and wide, you fights extremist terrorists, you provide experimental drugs to Ebola-ridden Africa. Please commence patting yourself on the back. I’ll wait…
Alright, now that your ego has been sufficiently inflated, let’s get down to business; or better yet, let’s get down to education. People all throughout your history have fought for education. Education for blacks. Education for women. Education for kids with disabilities. You have a rich history of people pushing for equal, accessible education for all. Clearly, education is desirable and valuable. So, why don’t you care about it anymore? Your educational system is collapsing in on itself and you have been standing around with your thumb up your butt. What gives?!
As an educator in your dying system, let me shed some light upon the issues, and offer some solutions. Issue: numbers have become more important than the actual student. Solution: start taking a more holistic approach to education, an approach where you are addressing all the needs of a student and not just the part of them that produces great test scores that make your schools look better.
Issue: college is pushed upon all kids Solution: start giving kids options! Inform them about trade schools/vocational schools. Better yet, require high schools to offer vocational programs for students. Also, don’t make kids feel like social pariahs for not pursuing college. College is not for everyone, and that is o.k. I repeat–that is O.K.
Issue: Special Education gets the shaft Solution: Where do I start? Hold schools highly accountable for the money they receive for each student that receives Special Education services. Use that money to create programs for the Special Education students, and not just for the low-functioning Special Ed. students, either. Hold schools highly accountable for the implementation of IEPs. Create solid self-contained programs for your students with emotional disabilities and for your students with learning disabilities. Sometimes a kid just need to be in a smaller class where they can get the attention and support they need. Unburden your Special Education teachers of copious amounts of paperwork by hiring more Special Education teachers! Spread the wealth! You try keeping up with numerous IEPs, FBAs, BIPs, point sheets, data sheets,etc., AND preparing lesson plans for NINE different subjects while dealing with kids having emotional break downs (which has been my job for the past two years). Better yet, try keeping up with all the aforementioned paperwork, pushing into 4-6 different teachers’ classes to support Special Ed. students, co-planning with those 4-6 different teachers, AND having to write IEPs for kids you don’t actually support in any classes; this is called support facilitation at my school, and it is insane. I could go on with Special Education solutions, but I’ll digress.
Issue: people making policies aren’t educators. Solution: start consulting educators regarding what is best for your students; after all, teachers are the ones on the front lines, witnessing first hand the effects of well-intentioned, ill-designed educational policies. Also, policy-makers should have to sit in classrooms, observe, talk to teachers and students, and really get a feel for public schools. They have no idea what public schools are like. None.
My dearest America, while there are far more issues than the ones listed above, the ones listed above are nearest and dearest to my heart. I sincerely hope this letter will open your eyes to the troubling issues plaguing your educational system. I sincerely hope this letter will encourage you to take education reform off the back burner. Most of all, I sincerely hope this letter will help you realize that those who need to be saved by you the most are those within your own borders–your children.
“What does a SharkMan have to do with teens and quotes?”, you might be thinking to yourself. Well, allow me to share with you some quotes from the past few days. I think one of those quotes will answer your question. Another quote will answer the question about how I read your mind in order to know what you were thinking upon seeing the Shark Man photo. Whoa. Mind. Blown. KABOOM.
student: “Did you know that sharks can replace teeth as soon as they lose them? Oh, to mix the DNA of a shark and a human. That would be wonderful.”
me: “That would be pretty cool to not have to brush your teeth ever. Just knock them out after every meal.”
student: “Yeah, but what’s even better is that they never get cavities!”
student: “Some Freshman tried my life in the lunch line today. He was trying to cut and he put his hand on me like this (puts hand on my bicep). I almost ended a life, today.”
student:”You don’t really play soccer Wednesday nights. You just go do drugs.”
me: “Yes. You caught me. I am a raging drug addict.”
student: “I thought you had an extravagant drug life.”
student: “What would you do if some man just grabbed your ass at work?”
me:”I’d file a sexual harassment claim.”
student: “Usually calm, collected, and sophisticated women like you go crazy when they’re disrespected. You’d probably beat that n*gga’s ass”
me: “I do dream about punching people in the face.”
me:”*******, you just totally read my mind! I was thinking I wanted you to put that book away, and you did it! You CAN read minds.”
student: “It’s easier to read the mind of an energized particulate entity.”
According to Urban Dictionary, the term “wilin’ out” can be defined as follows: “Acting up; causing trouble; doing something you should not be doing”. While my students were wilin’ out most of the week, they were especially “wiley” today. I thought that perhaps there was a full moon the previous night, but that was not the case. I think the more logical explanation is that someone spiked the water fountains at school.
This curious case of super hyped up children has led to some pretty hilarious quotes for the week, though. So, without further ado, I give you the top quotes of the week.
1. “Do you want me to quit school and become a teen pop star like Justin Bieber?!”
2. “Butterflies don’t come near my house. My house is a death zone. That butterfly WILL die!”
3. “The virtual class logged me off, so I got salty and walked away!”
4. “I’m getting a chest hair. I’m definitely a senior. I’m going to have to start undoing the third button on my shirt now.”
Later in the day, same student walks to my desk and says: “Look, it’s a little black hair. Do you want to see it?”
me: “Oh my gosh, no. Please get away from my desk with your little 12-year-old boy chest.”
5. After a fellow teacher dropped off something for me, a student made the following comment about said teacher: “She is so sexy. I want her to serve coffee to me in my kitchen on a Friday night!”
me: “She is happily married with a child or two. That will definitely not be happening. Ever.”
6. And my final quote for the week….
In one swift motion, a student comes up to my desk, gets out their car key, and pushes the button that makes the car key pop out.
Student(jokingly, while holding the key near my neck): “Give me all your money.”
me: “ahahahahahaha…..I’m a teacher! You do realize we don’t make much money, right?!”
There you have it, folks. My adorable, hilarious, sometimes challenging lovies were quite entertaining this week. Hopefully you are as entertained as I was. 🙂
Every year, I wind up with a student who believes he/she is the cat’s meow. This year is no exception. I have a student who has such an inflated sense of himself that he actually believes he taught me everything I needed to know my first year at my school. I know. Absurd, right?
Check this nonsense out:
student(in the most condescending tone ever): “I was a veteran at this school when you were a rookie. I showed you the ropes!.”
me: “Ahahaha…Thanks for that. I needed a good laugh.”
This student was trying harder than a wannabe to assert his “alpha maleness” over me(Please note: he has referred to himself as an alpha male. In class. In front of other kids. WHO SAYS THAT?! ). I don’t think so! First of all, no. Just, no. Get over yourself. Also, he can’t seem to accept the undeniable truth that while he has been in school for four years, he is actually NOT a senior. He is a few credits shy of the glorious crown of seniority.
*start rant* I think what really sets the coals of rage ablaze in my heart is the fact that everyone around him enables him. Oh, you failed and made some really poor life choices? Here is a brand new car! What’s that? You aren’t making enough money by selling things you shouldn’t be selling? Let me try to get the government to give you some free money! Huh? You want me to sit in a meeting and tell all the grown ups at the table that you can’t be helped because I can’t force you to do anything because, well, I just can’t? O.K! Ugh. I’m over it. Life will not be pleasant to this young man, and I wish he would take the help his teachers have been trying to give him for years. He is stuck in a delusional reality with some unlucky guests who will do nothing but make excuses for him over and over again. Unfortunate. *End Rant*
I’d like to state for the record that I think this person is a good kid. I think he can be quite kind and helpful when he wants to be. I also think he has used some difficult events in his life as an excuse for everything. It breaks my heart into a million tiny little fragments that he keeps hurting himself without realizing it. He continues to let past hardships define him in a negative way. I think if he can move past those hardships, he’ll have a chance at a fulfilling life. I can only pray that he finds the strength and courage to move forward.