f*cking teaching

Teaching Rigormortis

…Without the pressure of standardized testing it had to be better.  Private school kids don’t throw chairs.  Private school administrators believe that all children can learn but are very clear that some students can’t learn at their institution.  Violent students are excluded and expected to try their luck someplace else.

If you can’t tell by now I’m completely baffled and thrown by physically disobedient students.  When students get wild with their bodies I really don’t know what to do.  With that in mind let me introduce you to Carrie.  Carrie told me once that she had a bad weekend because she fell off her pony.  I didn’t know what dressage was until she informed me about ballet dancing horses during one of her recess monologues. She skies in Aspen during Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.  During the summer, she goes to sailing camp.  Apparently with a few hard pokes to her brother’s ribs she gets to steer the yacht “almost the whole time” when her family takes the boat out on the bay.

Carrie’s parents are a peculiar pair of corporate attorneys.  If I were to meet Joan outside of work I would take one look at her chopped haircut, matched with a short stumpy figure, and assume she favors twisting labia in the folds of her tongue.  Davie gets manicures and has a high-pitched voice.

Another meeting in an interrogation room sealed the coffin on my bullshit career.  This time Davie and Joan Andrews did most of the talking.  You see, while I get paid, I guess, to listen to Carrie’s droning about ponies and yachts, the other kids who have just as much don’t want to hear about it.  Carrie’s response to disinterest is to make the hue of her chubby face blend into her wild and curly red hair before kicking classmates in the shins.  I was sure that swift justice would give me a bit of a break.  Carrie had established a pattern of violent, explosive behavior.  Surely, she would be suspended for at least one day.  Abed was suspended for 3 days when he retaliated aggressively to a classmate that hit him first.

After the meeting started, I spoke for five minutes before the Andrews took over.  Davie kept holding his shaking head while he spoke, as if he hoped to cast demons out of his brain.  Joan’s voice raised to a volume that allowed the adjacent classroom to hear her disgust.

She stabbed her stubby finger on the conference table enough for it to shake as she spoke, “This would not be happening to Carrie if she were a boy. The fact that you choose to protect students from Carrie because she has an opinion, and is not afraid to express it, is not ok!”

I sat there with a gapped mouth expression waiting for the impending response from the Assistant Head of School.  She just sat there with her hands neatly folded on her lap.  Later that day when the head of school was briefed about the meeting she talked a good game, “Even Susan B. Anthony can’t kick kids in my school.” Still Carrie didn’t get suspended and I never heard about it again.  Her parents pay full tuition which amounts to about 20 K a year.  When Bill Pierce, another student in my class had difficulties, his parents went straight to the Head of School and had a meeting I wasn’t invited to.  Until this day, I still don’t know the outcome or cause of that meeting.  The Pierces pay full tuition and are members of the board.  Abed is a scholarship student who pays half tuition.

I’m out of buts.  I’m fucking done. Ten years later I’m positive teaching isn’t for me.


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