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Ms. Spits

December 12, 2012
Al Bundy

I should be punished for calling my teacher Bundy.

I had a dream last night. There were six middle school students who were supposed to be taking a high level math test. I was a teacher, but also somehow a middle school kid. I had an odd shaped room with lots of corners for them to hide around, and as expected, they did. I tried to have a quick math contest on the white boards, but they were pulling out all the stops. They were actually quite smart about it.  Likely because the dream was of my own design. They were doing things like we used to do to Ms. Jacobs in Calculus. And Physics.

The dream test needed to begin, and I separated the kids, but they were like magnets. I couldn’t do anything right. And I finally figured out why they hated me. See, I had braces. I was spitting on them when I spoke. They started calling me Ms. Spits. First under their breaths, and then blatantly.

Hey, Ms. Spits.

I deserve this. In high school, we called a teacher Mr. Bundy because he looked so much like the dad on Married with Children. We wrote our shoe sizes on our homework because Al Bundy was a shoe salesman. I deserve much worse than being called Ms. Spits in my dream.

And of course my ego was pulsating! I couldn’t believe I was spitting on them. I didn’t want to. So badly. But I couldn’t help it. It was just me. The braces. The zits. And I spit. Humiliating.

It’s not a stretch to say I’m a bit haunted by my volunteer experience lately. I am in one particular classroom for 2 periods a day, and it’s torture. The teacher just talks and talks and talks and no one listens. The kids hate him. They say so openly. I busted one kid screaming “Faggot” at he approached the portable classroom. And the teacher hates the kids right back. It’s obvious. He ridicules them and humiliates them and has absolutely no regard for their little malleable egos. He feels victimized by the kids! One day during passing period, after the worst class ever where not a single kid was asked a single question, where there was zero evidence of learning, he started singing, “He works hard for the money.”

I want to tell him, and tell ON him, so badly. But it’s not my place. And what could be done anyway?

Maybe I err on the other side by loving my kids too much. It wasn’t hard in New Orleans, and it’s not hard in Washington. There are kids in need everywhere. I’m the first to believe the kid when he says he hasn’t seen his mom in 4 days, is locked out of the house, and that’s why he doesn’t have his books. I’m the first to ask a kid if they don’t feel well, rather than yelling at them to get their head off the desk. I mean, someone can tell on me, if you want. Ms. Summers loves her kids too much.

Before bed last night, I was deciding if I should keep volunteering after the break. The problem with volunteering is the classroom is not yours. You just get to witness the cacophony. I try my best to do what I can in a respectful manner, but when you see a teacher provoke a kid, then patronize him with pseudo-positive comments, then kick him out of class, you can’t help but feel a victim of the unionized system that protects teachers. You can’t help but feel like you are a junior high kid again, too.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2012 3:54 pm

    ugh! this sucks!!! i vote for keep volunteering if you can. they need you. and you never know what may come??? i have a friend who was hired from band coach to be the music teacher at his high school. he taught for two years and is just now starting to go to college to get his degree. (i bet that info kills you too….)
    and as for the teacher working hard for his money… “you volunteer for no money!!” 🙂

  2. didier morvan permalink
    December 17, 2012 5:41 pm

    Funny how the past does haunt us. I remember being a troublesome student and being corrected for it. I never saw a teacher that was troublesome being corrected however.

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