I had fun writing this a few years ago for an introduction to an article titled: “Why am I still Teaching?”. I haven’t revisited it for ages – hope you can read the tongue-in-cheek. Very different from my normal posts – hope you enjoy it!
“Hi, Mr W”
“Hi, Johnny – It’s great to see you! How did you go in your final exams last year?”
“OK, I guess. I haven’t really needed any of that stuff.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m working for Diablo Steel Mining; 5 days on, 10 days off. They pay me $82,000 with accommodation and food included.”
“That’s great, Johnny – I’m really happy for you.” I repent for my lie on the way to the staff room.
Johnny’s spit balls are still on the roof of my classroom. Johnny wrote rude things in the dust of my Camry in Year 10. Johnny is now 18 and earning MORE THAN ME in the mining industry. Johnny is a moron.
I leave Johnny. I’m allowed to leave him all by himself now because he is wearing a “Visitor” badge. The school administrator obviously OK’d his pass. I want to write in the dust of the Administrator’s BMW – but I don’t.
The coffee jar is empty, I am on kitchen roster this week so I can’t be annoyed with anyone and that REALLY annoys me!
One of the photocopiers has “under repair” written on a recycled sheet of A3 and the other has been left to handle 62 copies of a 28 page SOSE booklet about recycling.
My one free period is replaced at the last minute by a compulsory relief lesson. I will be teaching “Sewing” to Year 8 boys (They call it something post modernist now but we all translate it back in our heads). They were going to ask a lady to do the relief but they didn’t want to appear to be sexist in their distribution of relief duties. I secretly wish Johnny was doing “Sewing” this afternoon.
Jessica Mildachophfski just spotted a spelling mistake on my whiteboard and even though Mrs Jennings has cancelled a meeting three times about her son’s lack of commitment – I will make time after school, before the new software training, to meet with her.
I arrive home and find the credit card bill in my letter box. I have invested $127.50 in stickers, merit awards, lollies (don’t tell the P&C as they have just moved the whole school over to the Jamie’s Kitchen brigade), Second Hand DVDs, folders, notepads, posters, overhead projector pens, drawing pins and red cardboard for Valentine’s Day. My wife doesn’t say anything any more – she knows I NEED it. She says I should consider writing away for a grant from Diablo Steel Mining Company.
Before I go to bed I spend quality time with MY children. They are 2 of 120 I have spoken to today. I read the latest WA Curriculum Update (a daily review now) that I carry into the bathroom to read peacefully after dinner. I watch Biggest Loser and relate to it as meaningful television before I finish off my marking I didn’t get to do in the “Sewing” session.
My friends and relatives tell me how lucky I am to have 12 weeks off a year. That all teachers “…start at 9 and finish at 3 and get recess and lunch”. I don’t argue anymore.