So, by a show of hands, how many other teachers out there worry sometimes that they are working with some real idiots?? Anyone? Or am I all alone on this one?? Seriously, I find it scary sometimes how some of the most basic things I teach (telling time and using a calendar to be specific) are so darn challenging for so many adults. (sigh) Perhaps they need to join my morning meeting and routinely get their minds ready for the day because whatever they're morning routine is currently, it just ain't workin'.
Let me explain. Tomorrow is... (drumroll) Picture Day! Tah-dah! You remember picture day, don't you? You wait in an endless line in your school's gym/auditorium/cafeteria just waiting to get to the table so that you can claim your sketchy little black plastic comb. And then you sit on the stool with your feet placed awkwardly out in front of you while some strange adult adjusts your head to the most ridiculous, uncomfortable and unnatural angle humanly possible...is it coming back yet? Well, I get to repeat that joy each and every year with my class. Yes, I too often wonder how this is my job as I stand in that line.
This year, we received the schedule for picture day last Thursday. And, despite lunch having been at the same time for at least the last six years, our pictures were scheduled to be taken during lunch.
Of course they were.
So I write a lovely note back, biting my tongue and holding back my vicious pen, informing the idiot, I mean, my colleague, that unfortunately we were scheduled to have our pictures taken during our lunch period and explain why that will not work for us. I lovingly place the note in said person's mailbox and go about my business.
Fast forward to today. One day before pictures. Three business days after I have placed the note in the idiot's box.
No new schedule.
I wait until mid-day and check again.
Still no schedule.
I guess I can understand the delay as this individual's other responsibilities include....um....well...now that I think about it, I'm not sure what else this person does. Despite seeing this person on a regular basis, I've never actually witnessed them doing any real work. Unless you count the numerous memos that are sent home riddled with type-os. If you count those, then yes, it is possible that this idiot is overworked.
I decide to call this person (who has an office while, by the way, I am not even allowed to have a DESK much less an entire office because my space is supposed to be all about the children which makes me feel oh so valued). In my sweetest voice possible I ask:
"Have you had a moment to work out the new schedule for tomorrow?"
She replies with a surly, "You'll get it by the end of the day."
In my dulcet tones, I reply, "Ah, thank you. But I'm trying to get ready for tomorrow right now...could you please just let me know when my class will be visiting the photographer so I can write it into my plans?"
She snarls, "12:00".
Ever so delicately I say, "But that is during our gym period. I'm fairly certain that our schedule is posted in plain view in the office downstairs too...I am not actually with the class then."
(insert sound of screeching brakes here)
Did she just hang up on me??
As the rage builds inside of me, I swallow it, pushing it down to that place where all teachers store their frustrations so that they can smile and be amazing educators despite the sometimes insurmountable idiocy and incapability that surrounds them. And as I push that rage deeper, I find comfort in my new plan to take each memo she sends out to be distributed to parents and picture myself joyously correcting every single one of her absolutely embarrassing grammatical errors with bright red pen. And I smile, as I imagine placing the edited copy anonymously in my principal's mailbox so that he may also bask in the glory of others inadequacies.
Why not share the wealth??