Monday, February 11, 2008


Exhibit A:
I got a voice mail last week from a guy from a bank, saying we'd met at school sometime in the last year. I called him back, left a message, the next day he called me back, then got another call and called back like ten minutes later. And finally I said hello to him and said that I didn't remember him. It really took about five full minutes of this 'conversation' for me to remember the meeting he was talking about--it was my second year of teaching! This is my fourth, which means that he 'was just following up on the questionnaire' I filled out, it took two or three YEARS!

He wanted me to go to another meeting so he could tell me about some weird programs or something, and he would be 'in the area' the next day. I asked, "In the area or in the school?" Then he claimed he'd be at the school, around 3 or 4, meeting with the parent coordinator. I replied that school's over by three and I could try to stop by the room.

On Friday, I got an eighth period coverage and completely forgot. He called me a little after three, saying he was at school. I said, oh sorry, I forgot and I already left, I'm on the freeway. He said something about how he was there to meet with me, implying bad on me for promising to go and then not. But I ignored that because A)that's a lie, and B)you called me TWO FREAKING YEARS late, buddy. You lost any and all right to be respected as a professional. Good luck.

Exhibit B:
This morning a student walked in twenty minutes late. I sent her right back out to get a late pass. She returns five minutes later with no pass, saying something about signing a paper. I testily replied she needed to bring something back with her, so I sent her back to get an actual pass. Two minutes later, one of the security guards shows up at my door with the student. The guard tells me (with just enough attitude to let me know she thinks I'm being totally unreasonable) that "we're not doing late passes anymore." Per the principal. The guard claims the late students sign something and they update the attendance and "then come right up to class."

Wehhell. FIRST of all, I'm just doing one of my jobs, trying to keep my students accountable for their actions. I certainly don't need to be told off by a security guard about me trying to keep the school, you know, secure.

Second, this student didn't do a damn thing until I sent her to get something. Which means that she was able to come up to class the first time with no one stopping her to question her or give her a pass. This is a problem, no? So what happens when teachers don't send a kid back to get a pass? Nothing, that's what, the kid doesn't show up on the attendance for the day. And the principal keeps threatening us, the teachers, for the discrepancies in attendance.

Then, THIRD, I had a chance to ask my department AP about this later in the day. She said that her students (the next grade) had late passes that day. Ohhoho! Isn't that interesting! I asked if she could ask the principal about that, for some clarification, because obviously us teachers have not ever been told anything at all about passes or a lack of them (I just send kids because it's the right thing to do), and now apparently security guards are either making things up or upholding different rules and expectations. Either way something needs to be done.

This is just ONE reason our school is ridiculous.

Oh, and this guard's snippity attitude might be related to Exhibit C, which actually happened a month or two ago. It was in the middle or late part of the day, class is going on, the students are silent as I'm teaching or they're reading or whatever. And there's a group of people RIGHT outside my door, four guards and a parent or someone, talking very loudly. Practically shouting, and in an empty hallway, and again, right outside my door. In the middle of class. It was disruptive! So I opened the door and said quietly and kind of shyly, "Um, excuse me, it's kind of loud out here, and we're quiet in here, would you mind keeping it down?" Feeling kind of silly, because truly, this shouldn't even be happening.

None of them even apologized, this one kind of just stared at me as if *I* were the rude one (!!), and they moved away. Really? Attitude? I don't think I'm in the wrong to politely ask for a quiet environment so we can teach and learn!

My goodness, people, what is this school coming to, I ask you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The loss of indoor voices makes me sad, and irritates me to no end. Worse than school, at the nearby college, it is a constant problem. People, adults, speak in full voice in echo-ey hallways with classes in session.