I don’t know if it’s because I’m 8 months pregnant and exhausted, because I’ve got a killer sinus infection for which I can’t take any medication, because I have enjoyed a grand total of 20 minutes quality time with my children the past 48 hours after spending half the weekend grading essays and nearly all of Monday teaching and then lesson planning after school, or because I can’t muster one more fake smile and faux aura of patience when confronted by a rude student or parent, but I’ve had it with this week already, and it’s only Tuesday.
Though any one of my experiences above may have thrown me over the edge, I think coming across an Unhelpful High School Teacher Meme this afternoon was the nail in the coffin.
Not only are most of these completely off base, but they’re also clearly created by people who have zero idea exactly what it is that teachers do and deal with on a daily basis. I’ll admit that some of them are amusing because they accurately poke fun at some fairly common “teacherisms” that even we educators recognize and laugh at, but most of them? Well, most of them may be funny to those who create and share them, but to those of us in the biz they are nothing more than glaring examples of the stupidity and cluelessness we often have to deal with on the daily (Which is, THANKFULLY, sprinkled throughout our mostly pleasant experiences with students, parents, and colleagues. We appreciate you, cooperative and understanding students and parents! We appreciate you SO MUCH!).
Want a look into the life of a teacher? Check out these rebuttals to popular Unhelpful High School Teacher Memes to understand what I’m talking about.
Oh, you mean the only textbooks we have because the politicians that the uninformed half of our population continues to vote into office have stripped away needed funding from our public schools, leaving us to instruct without current resources? You mean those ones? Uh huh. Sorry, but that still doesn’t magically make Wikipedia reliable.
Oh, no, it appears you’ve misunderstood. You used a word in your paper that YOU don’t know. In fact, you’ve used a whole host of words and sentence combinations and rhetorical strategies that match nothing you’ve demonstrated as being part of your writing capabilities this whole year. THAT’S why you’re being downgraded for plagiarism. Because you’ve copied somebody else’s work and attempted to pass it off as your own, and not only that, but you’ve done it SO OBVIOUSLY, a monkey could have caught it while sleeping.
That’s right. Because if I pass out the tests and go over the grades with you now, one or more of you is going to share those answers with the handful of people who haven’t taken the test yet, which makes absolutely no sense when you think about it because that gives the people you’re sharing the answers with an advantage over you — one they didn’t have to earn by studying as you did, by the way — but whatever. You’ll still do it anyway, and I know this because I’ve caught you doing it in the past. So, no. I can’t let you see your graded tests. If you want to see them so badly, maybe don’t help others cheat. Just an idea.
THIS weekend. I couldn’t grade the tests that you took last week because my friend got married THIS weekend. Never mind the fact that I spent all of LAST weekend and the weekend before, not to mention every night after school until 10 pm, grading your work so I could provide you with timely and detailed feedback in an effort to help you master course concepts effectively. Never mind that I gave up my personal time with family and friends for the majority of every day the past month to do that, not for pay because I don’t get paid to do it, but rather because it’s the right thing to do as your teacher. Never mind that.
Yes, except me. I’m allowed to drink my Diet Coke in my own classroom which I’m responsible for and have to clean every day after students spill food and drink all over the floor and leave trash in random corners. If you’d like to come after school and help me clean up this mess every single day and take personal responsibility with administration for any damage that occurs to school property, you’re welcome to have Diet Coke, too.
Yes, I will need to see that given it’s the third time she’s passed away this semester.
Which I wouldn’t have to say if you acted like all the other students and adults I work with regularly who know it’s rude to get up and walk out when somebody’s in the middle of trying to explain or help you with something — something, I might add, that I already know and therefore doesn’t benefit me in the least to repeat. Something I’m trying to help YOU understand. YOU.
Well, is it? Because not only have I seen you wandering past my classroom in the middle of every single period today, but I’m also kind of starting to worry that you might want to see a medical professional about your need to use the restroom for 25 minutes during class every day. And I also think you might need to invest in a school map because despite how frequently you claim to have to go, you can never quite seem to find your way there. (Pssst…the bathroom’s NOT located on the other side of your girlfriend’s 5th period classroom window. In case you were unaware.)
I know. There’s this crazy little thing they taught us in teacher school about how we need to make sure EVERYBODY is engaged, paying attention, and understands — NOT just the kids who are always ready and willing to participate. Silly us with our concern that everybody is able to follow along and our desire to reach all students. We’re such assholes that way.
Because instead we’re supposed to? What exactly? Sit with our thumbs up our asses? Did I miss something? Is class time not for doing, you know, CLASS STUFF?
Should I have said stop being thoughtless, rude jerk offs with zero regard for common courtesy instead?
There aren’t adequate words for this level of stupid.