Categorized under: Hobo Teacher

Classic HT: Return To Sender

Over the years I’ve shared a number of e-mail communications with you guys from various staff members, especially administrators like our principal Pécan and the heir apparent, AP Evelyn Hammer. I’ve shared them because there’s always something that gets a reaction out of me, from laughter to screaming. There was even that one e-mail about the student who tried to hold-up the National Honor Society treasurer with a boa constrictor he had stolen from a biology classroom that made me both laugh and scream. Me and Indiana Jones: We both hate snakes. The similarities stop there.

What I don’t think I’ve shared about any of those e-mails from administration is the message that is included at the end of every single one. It’s guaranteed to get a chuckle from me every time. It says in all caps, “DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL. THIS IS NOT A MONITORED ACCOUNT. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS THEN CONTACT YOUR SUPERVISING ADMINISTRATOR.”

I laugh because I can see using such a set-up to my advantage. What if I did respond? I could blow-up at their requests to keep a discipline log in triplicate or their encouragements to review the school’s handbook with the students on a weekly basis with, “YOU review the handbook with students,” or “Your mom’s a triplicate!” without any repercussions. I could say anything I wanted, and it wouldn’t matter because nobody reads e-mails from the account. It would all just go into the great Internet void.

I could even see me using it as a confessional as sorts. Let’s face it; I’m not the greatest teacher. I have moments of weakness just like anyone else. I need to resolve myself of stuff–like when I laughed when one of my students told another student his “breath smelled like dead ass.” For your information, I only laughed because the boy who said it reeks daily.

The more I think about it, though, perhaps I should refrain from doing such a thing. The conspiracy theorist in me is telling me that administration probably does read responses and put them in some sort of secret file…in triplicate.

Categorized under: Hobo Teacher

Classic HT: Post Time

We have state testing next week. Usually, I’m not too nervous about this kind of stuff, though maybe I should be since districts are starting to use the results as part of teacher evaluations. Are you telling me students wouldn’t tank a test to get rid of a teacher they hated because he never showed movies in class and made kids read instead? Tell that to the kid who started a gay rumor about me because I didn’t give bonus points on quizzes. What do they have to risk? If a student doesn’t pass the exit exam in their junior year, then they can take it their senior year.

Honestly, such a scenario doesn’t worry me. In this job, some things you just have to be fearless about. With that said, I am very nervous about one thing in particular. Our machine that prints the posters just broke. This is the machine we use to list the testing room assignments for students. Now we have to result to giving them their room assignments today and hope that they remember it for Monday because the machine will not be fixed in time and no Plan B is in place for posting the names.

This has “disaster” written all over it. Have you ever asked a teen to remember something over the weekend? If you don’t know what that’s like then just think back to when you use to play that game telephone with a bunch of friends. Remember? After whispering the message, “Cats are fluffy,” as fast as you could from kid to kid it would get garbled into something like, “Maps are puffy.” Well, that’s how things get translated with a single teenager.

I’m talking about just one teen and not a bunch of elementary school children. Watch. I’m going to tell a student, “Report to Room 430 and remember that you can’t use your own calculator. One will be provided to you,” and she’ll hear, “Repair broom for birdies and remember you count your bone exterminator. Some will be divided to you.”

Categorized under: Hobo Teacher

Classic HT: Billing Time

Colleagues around here are really freaking out. It’s no secret as to why. In general teachers aren’t handling the looming financial bloodbath that will be hitting the district is the root of the mass panic. Let me illustrate.

One teacher shared with some of us that he’s been telling his students stuff to get them to do things. Specifically, I’m talking about showing up for class. He’s told his students that since attendance plays a large roll in funding they were denying the school about $40 a pop when they didn’t show up for class. I’m not sure how he got that figure. He may be a genius and came up with some sort of bomb-ass equation to support his stance. Or it may be an ass-pulled equation, as in he pulled it out of his ass, it doesn’t matter. What he’s doing with that figure is what I’m focusing on here.

He chose to go the fear route. I’m sure that’s great for when you want to keep nosy kids and that dog away from your illegal operation. Wait a second… that’s not right. Scoob and the gang always solved the mystery.

I don’t know. He just came off as desperate. My advice to any teacher is not to look desperate (even when you are). Your students don’t interpret your desperation as a sign indicating that you just really really want the best for them (Not that this was this teacher’s case. He could be just really scared to lose his job). They see it as a weakness. And I’m not talking the type of weakness that they would show compassion for, but the type that tells them to come in for the kill.

And if you’re going to use fear to motivate your kids, then use it properly. Go with something like, “If you maniacs don’t calm down then I’ve got plenty of more Sylvia Plath to wear you out!” That way you’ve thrown enough crazy into the mix that they won’t want to run the risk of getting out of line. A theoretical $40? Not so much.

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Hobo Teacher

We’re teachers. We love teaching but, the thing is, it doesn’t really pay the bills. As a matter of fact, we picked up odd jobs along the way to help make ends meet. This really takes its toll when you add on the countless hours already spent at school, the lack of sunlight, and the […]Be Sociable, Share! Tweet read more