Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Land of the Free, and the Home of the Ridiculous

Sometimes when I'm having a particularly irrational moment, I worry about the most insane things. For example, once last year, I left my fabulous tweed pumps on the carpet in my classroom (I am a commuter, so I have the cutest little Keds to walk in and save the ROCOing heels for work...I know, heels to teach elementary school sounds crazy but I heart me some great shoes and no, I haven't felt my feet in years.) I became obsessed with the idea that the mice who inhabit my classroom in the evenings were going to eat my shoes.

It had been a long day.

When I told my husband what I was worried about, he calmly asked me to just say my concern outloud.

"I'm afraid that mice will come and eat my shoes in the night."

That does sound crazy, doesn't it??

There's a reason we are together.

So earlier today when my principal informed me that we would NOT be receiving any paper in our classrooms this year, I employed a similar strategy.

Me: Hey Dr. Man, are we getting our annual box of paper soon?
Dr. Man: We already ran out of money, so no, sorry.
Me: We're not being given ANY paper this year? (insert incredulous tone here)
Dr. Man: Nope.
Me: So, let me get this straight...not only have I NEVER been provided with a pencil for my students, but this year, to top it all off, we are expected to provide our own PAPER?
Dr. Man: Yes.
Me: Just repeat that sentence for me..."This year I expect my teachers to achieve great things despite that fact that they have been given neither paper nor pencil."
Dr. Man: Very funny.

"Funny", eh?

I guess I will be laughing all the way to Staples.

I am such a sucker.

And if you are feeling like a sucker for not pursuing your education, it's not too late! Start on your degree in Elementary & Secondary Education today!


ajninja said...

I have this great poster hanging in my office, it says :
"Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. THE MIRACLE IS that at times they ACCOMPLISH THIS impossible task!"
Keep on acheiving the impossible, Mimi!

Anonymous said...

Grrrrrrrrrrrr. This is one of the reasons why I avoid teaching in the public schools.

ajninja said...

Hey Mimi, here's a site to check out for free school materials

Anonymous said...

Sounds like all these years in our district. We too provide for the students. I can't believe parents think that the school is paying for it. I loved your post. It is wonderful. Repeat after me..."I love teaching children. It is a calling not a job." Linda

Anonymous said...

Yikes - my comment up there sounds snobby, and that's not what I intended. It just upsets me that we taxpayers believe that our dollars contribute to children's educations, but it's not enough money even to buy paper for them to use. And we all know that the teachers' salaries aren't too high...

The system is broken.

Mimi said...

Thanks everyone...glad I'm not alone out there. ajninja, thanks for the site, I'll check it out. And worries, we know you better than that!!

Kate (pereka) said...

I'm not a teacher, but I remember my childhood in an inner-city elementary school. We still had a mimeograph (this was the early-mid 90s) and I'm pretty sure that my teacher was purchasing her own paper (our worksheets were mimeographed on the back of old assignments). Perhaps my strongest memory is when a richer school district donated us a box of books. We were so excited that day.

Later, I was moved to that rich school district. It was like paradise.

In other words, I feel your pain. But, if your kids are anything like me, they will remember you with fondness for your care. Keep up the good work!


Jules said...

oh man, do i know how you feel. my school has NEVER had paper for teachers. AND, not only do we have to bring our own copy paper, we have to pay to get a code to use the ONE machine (in a school of 1500 kids and nearly 100 teachers) that is broken/jammed/out of toner half the time.

Good for you for speaking up to The Man and at least trying to make him see the ridiculousness of the situation.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I have my kids bring in paper. I make it part of their supplies at the beginning of the year. When they see how much I give them as far as handouts and supplements to crappy textbooks, they willingly bring in more.

I always wondered what the hell administration thinks we're doing with copy paper. Standing on the corner in a trench coat and saying to passersby, "Pssssttt.....wanna copy of the unit test on energy?"


Anonymous said...

I just stumbled over from Jennsylvania and had to comment! I loved what I read and as the Momma of an 8 yr. Crazy Lil' Man and 5 year old Princess, these stories hit home!

The Science Goddess said...

And the truly funny thing is, in the "good old days," we teachers weren't given anything but paper. There wasn't any fancy technology for teaching---I felt fortunate to get a tv/VCR in my room.

When the heck did paper become such a precious commodity?

Mimi said...

But we are NOT short on rodents...horrifying story today involving cupcakes and a big ol' cockroach...

superdeens said...

I spent $3000 dollars last year on supplies, including pencils, papers, and xeroxes. Truly redic.

You rock. No one but other teachers would think all this is funny...

Anonymous said...


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