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Everyone has their issues with their job. Many feel as though their boss is unfair, their manager is sleeping with the girl who got the promotion over them. Others think they are over worked and under paid.

Have you ever had to look another human being in the eyes and assure them that if a gunman were to walk into the room, they would have to go through you before they got to them? Have you ever had police rip open your locked door looking for the hostage that they said was somewhere on the premises? Have you spent seventy hours working in a single week both at work and at home to ensure paperwork would be done by the time administrators told you it should be only to be paid the equivalent of seven dollars and eighty-nine cents? Have you ever had someone blame you for their inability to do what they want because they did not meet your expectations?

More importantly, have you seen the look on someone’s face when something they have struggled with for several years finally makes sense to them? Have you ever had someone tell you that because of you, they were finally able to move away from a label (“nearly there”) that has followed them around since they were seven years old? Have you ever had thirty-five people listening to every word you had to say?

Lying. Mistaken identity. Maneuverability. Theft. Larson. Homicide prevention. Suicide prevention. Disrespect. Manipulation. Interrogation.  


And to think, most of that happens before ten o'clock in the morning in the life of a teacher.

The alarm goes off at 5 and it takes until 6:45 for me to work up the courage to face yet another day of insufferable know-it-all teenagers. While in the shower I realize this will never calm the nerves enough to actually start the day off on the right foot. I drink my protein shake and spike the tea with a Lift-Off wishing it was something a bit stronger but, hey, who doesn’t.

I get in my car and it takes another 5 minutes to work up the nerve to actually back out of the driveway. The perfect excuse? “I have to let the car warm up!”
As I lie to myself, I make a mental note to think of a new excuse when spring officially gets here and the car doesn’t need to warm up as much as I do.

Thank whatever superior being might exist that I have first period prep. As I walk up to the school, trembling from all of the caffeine I’ve ingested just to get motivated, most of the heathens are already moving along to class (not mine, thank Superior Being X!) or to get temporary IDs. (You know how hard it is to put it on when school starts, put it in your backpack when school is over, and repeat the process the next day.)

All I need to do is make it from the front door to my mailbox without being accosted…. Damn!!! With only feet left to go, they close the door leading outside and 25 students are corralled in a space small enough to make Mini-Me claustrophobic. “Excuse me. Pardon Me. Can I get by please?” Five feet from my mailbox. Ten feet from the nurse’s exit.

“RRRRRRAAAAAWWWWWW!!! Fear me! I am infallible teenager!  You must not pass!” It would be easier to pass over a wooden bridge dangling inches above an active volcano.

“Where’s your ID?” And now the security guards are in on the joke.

“Right here next my classroom key!” because the polo shirt and slacks in a sea of DGK and sagging skinny jeans wasn’t enough of a clue that I am not a student.

Zig, zag, dodge, dive, weave, weave, “DUCK!” and a military roll into the classroom. SALVATION. Leave the lights off, hide in the corner. “Did anyone see me? No? Score one more point for Superior Being X. Maybe…just maybe there is a….” door slam. “Damn.”

Crazy lady from two doors down saw me. Now what? A long conversation about how her going against her entire department, not to mention any sort of ethics code we are supposed to follow, means everyone else is out to get her and she is the only person with any ability to do the job she continually screws up. Oh, and she needs to permanently borrow every black dry erase marker I have…without my permission of course. She casually takes them while yelling at me since, having the knowledge that writing a referral does nothing other than make you look like an idiot, makes me the “sainted teacher who undermines the entire discipline process.” (And somehow I’m the bitch?)

An hour and a half of silence to plan the day, the week, catch up on grading, debate jumping out of the third floor window. Yes, SALVATION! Go through late work, most of which has no name on it. Tear off the squiggly things on the side of the page so if I have to take them home, my dog won’t try to eat them and choke again.  Listen to angry adult music (Oh Daniel Powder, how did I live without you for so long?). Breathe, breathe, breathe, caffeinate, repeat. “Oh Superior Being X, thank you for this blessed day! It got off to a rough start but it’s getting so much better….”
Bell… “Damn!”

“RRRRRRAAAAAWWWWWW!!! Fear me! I am infallible teenager!”

“Dude, just get your ID on! It’s not that hard! If you had it on in your last class, why can’t you just leave it on walking three doors down?” The fact that it takes more effort to be defiant than it does to just go with the flow is completely lost on fourteen year olds.

“I lost it!” (See previous statement about the backpack process.)

“My lanyard broke!” (“So stop trying to choke each other with them.”)

“I left it in my locker!” (“You still have five minutes left in passing period. Go get it!”)

“The plastic thingy is broken!” (“Punch a hole in the ID.”)

“It’s in my pocket!” (“And then you wonder why the plastic sleeve gets broken?”)

“My dog tried to run away so I had to use my lanyard as a leash and then it did run off with it but by the time I finally found him, he had already eaten all of it; plastic, metal, everything! You don’t understand Ms.!! IT ATE ALL OF IT!!” (“Damn you Superior Being X!”)

The bell rings signaling time for me to do the closest thing to suicidal one can get without actually doing it: shutting oneself in with 35+ teenagers for an hour and a half. Superior Being X, give me strength.

“RRRRRRAAAAAWWWWWW!!! Fear me! I am infallible teenager!”

“Don’t stand on the desk!”

“Val, quit grabbing Adrian’s pectoral muscle!”

“Britt! Don’t stab Isaac with a pen!”

“Manual! Why are you taking your pants off? I don’t care if you have shorts on underneath or not!”


“Guys shut up!”

“Yeah shut up!”


“You’re the one talking asshole!”

“You’re the asshole! Asshole!”

“ONE!” Ask any teacher you’d like and I guarantee they will tell you that silence does, in fact, have a sound.

“Alright, you all have a bell ringer you should be working on. You have had one every day since August. I shouldn’t have to remind you to come in and silent-“

“Goooooooood Morning!!! Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance!” This is why the pledge should be banned from schools. Three minutes of arguing and fighting to get them silent gone in a matter of seconds! DAMN YOU BEING X!!

“GOOOOOOOOOO HIGH SCHOOL!” By the time the announcements end, the teacher has a migraine and the students haven’t paid attention to a word that was said.


“You guys suck!”

“Can’t you just shut up?”


“Yeah! Come on guys! She’s getting pissed!”

“Yeah! Her eye is twitching!”

“One!” Finally, only two students are talking: the sound of silence.

“So, let’s try to get through the four chapters. We’re doing dialogue journals and I’ll let you work with a-“

“What’s a dialogue journal?”

“Can we work with a partner?”

“Can we listen to our iPods?”

“Why do we need to do this?”

“What page are we on?

“How many chapters do we have to read?”


“Shut up ass hole!”


“You’re an asshole, slut!”

“One!” Two students talking; good enough.

“I’ll assign partners. You will read four chapters. Take notes in your dialogue journals. It is due at the end of the period.”

Before the books are even handed out students are writing in their dialogue journals. It would be fun to grade these tonight. They were such hard workers.

Lunch bell. SALVATION! “Thank y-“

“Ms.! Are you going to be in your room for lunch?”

“Can we stay in here?”

“Can I leave my stuff in here?”

“Yeah, sure. I was only going to sweep anyway.”

“Why do you have to sweep your own floor?”

“Isn’t that why we have custodians?”

“Well, yeah but they’re short staffed so they can only make it to the rooms once every week and a half or so. Considering the fact that you guys trash the floors once every couple of hours, we have to help them with the sweeping.”

“That sucks!”

“Meh, it could be worse.”

“Ms. Can I check out your Nook?” She’s a trustworthy student.

“Yeah, sure.”

“We’re gonna hack your Twitter!”

“Just don’t get me in trouble!”

“So how’s your boyfriend Mr. Jameson?”

“We are not now nor have we ever been in a relationship! He’s a billion years old!”

“That’s never stopped a guy before!”

“You guys would be soooooooo cute together!”

“Yeah, if he wasn’t forty years older than me!”

“Do you really like this music?” Now they’re making fun of Gaelic Storm? Really?

“Yeah, they’re a great band.”

“It’s so weird!” Yes, because it’s not hip-hop.

“Give it a chance, you might like it.”

“Here’s your Nook back Ms! Look at what we wrote!”

On my twitter I see, “Hacked by Rayanna and Sarah. The best teacher in the world’s favorite students!” It’s small and probably insignificant in the grad scheme of things but my hope is slowly being restored in the youth of America.

Bell- two more classes. The hard part is over!

“You were right Ms.! That band actually is pretty good.”

“Glad you like it, Sarah!” OFFICIAL BREAKTHROUGH!

“What’s going on Cap’n?” He gives me a high five as he walks in.

“What’s up, Zay?”

“Yo Ms! That test we took last week was pretty easy! That was the first time I’ve taken one of those stupid tests and actually knew what they were talking about!”

“Great to hear, Jonathan!” Yes, yes there is a God!

“I guess you really are a pretty good teacher!”

“I’m glad you approve!”

I can’t help but chuckle. You have to love those backhanded compliments. They’ve always been three of the best-behaved kids in the class but Jonathan and his friends are even better behaved than usual today. I love my fifth period.

“Ms. How many tattoos do you have?” Being A.D.D. myself, I think I’m allowed to say they are so freaking random at times.


“Where are they?”

“My legs mostly. I have one on my foot and then the one on my arm.”

“You forgot one! The one of a lawnmower right here!” He points to his pelvis.

The class cracks up. Maybe it’s because I like this class. Perhaps it’s because I’ve just hit point of no return and don’t want to fight anymore but I even chuckle. There’s something in the delivery of the joke that says, “I’m an immature ninth grade boy who doesn’t know a thing about tact. I mean no disrespect but this is the only way I know how to joke around.”

“Mr. Jameson prefers it that way!” The class chuckles again.

“Alright, alright, get back to work.” What am I supposed to do? Write a referral for the every kid in the lass who laughs at an inappropriate joke? I think not.

“Javi! Have a seat! Why are you walking around in the first place?”

“I was asking her for chips!”

“You shouldn’t be eating in class anyway!”

“Fine! God, whatever!” God, funny you should mention him/her/it.

“In the line, ‘From what I know of desire I hold with those who favor fire,’ what does fire represent?”

“The end of the world?”


“How the world will end!”

“The opposite of heaven!”

“Let’s try this again. What does fire rhyme with?”


“So there is obviously a connection, right? So, what does fire represent?”


“The end of the world!”

Final bell of the day! I can’t help but scream louder than the kids on their way out the door, “Thank you Go-“

“Students and staff pardon the interruption. Colleagues, this is a reminder that we have a mandatory staff meeting today after school at 2:45. We’d like to get an early start so if you could start making your way over to lecture hall it would be greatly appreciated.”


“Hey rookie! Smile, it’s only your first year.”

“Hey Jack.” My mentor teacher. The one all of the students and half of the staff swear I’m sleeping with.

“You ok?”

“Yeah, just a really, really, long day. How are you?”

“Bought a new pair of shoes.”

“So, fighting with your wife again?”


“Ready to listen to a bunch of idiots drone on about nothing for an hour and fifteen minutes?”


He puts him arm around me. “I promise you it gets better, kid.”

While I’m also thinking, “Thank God there are no students here to see this,” I also can’t help but ask, “Why in the hell did I just get the chills?” Son of a-

“Come on.”

“Why are we taking away their cell phones? If someone steals them, then we’re responsible!” The principal yells from the back of the room.

I lean over to Jack, “What does this have to do with testing?”

“Everything,” he shrugs and smirks.

“Fine, fine, fine! You all decide what you want to do! The committee just spent two months trying to figure things out but we can always change them, I guess.”

“Just let them put them in their backpacks and put the backpacks against the wall!”

“Why do they even need to bring backpacks in the first place?”

“They just will. They always bring their backpacks!”

“How will we know if they put them in their backpack?”

“Just trust that they will do the right thing!”

“If that’s the argument, then how will we know they don’t have a cell phone when they say they don’t so they don’t have to give it to us to put in the bag with all of the other ones?”

“You believe in God, right?” Jack and I are still having our side conversation while the giant think tank that is the administration and half of the staff continues to argue about electronics.

“Yeah, why?”

“How?” It wasn’t sarcasm. It was an honest, sincere question.

“Think about it, the person who invented the concept of the staff meeting where 98% of the people are all smoking crack had to be the antichrist. If there’s an antichrist, there has to be a Christ; hence the anti-christ”

“But how do we know teaching isn’t just the Universe's way of punishing people for sins from a past life?”

“You don’t. But how do you explain the days where it all goes really well? You have to have two forces to have an opposing force. Come on, English teacher!”

Another comment that should have been sarcastic but wasn’t. In three sentences, he solidified my feelings about this higher being business. Now, to deal with the opposing force for the next hour and five minutes.

“You having second thoughts about teaching, rookie?”

“No. I’m having second thoughts about my southern Baptist upbringing. The kids I can handle. It’s religion that’s pissing me off here lately!”

“You are more random than the kids some days. You know that right?”

“Look around you. When it comes to mentalities, can you really tell who the adults and the teenagers are?”

“Touché, rookie! Touché!”

8:10 PM PT: A sincere, heart felt thank you to the Community Spotlight and the Teachers Louge for republishing!

Originally posted to Ash Leatherman on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Teachers Lounge and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow, Ashley... (15+ / 0-)

    ... I was LMAO reading this!

    Do students really act like that?

    Thanks for being a great teacher! I'm sure reaching a few of them!

    Reuse and commonality are the keys to a robust and profitable space program.

    by The NM STAR Group on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:23:46 AM PST

  •  I used to teach in the inner city. (15+ / 0-)

    In Houston, Texas to be exact.

    It never shook my faith. In my students. They taught me so much.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:26:48 AM PST

  •  Heh (7+ / 0-)

    I've taught in schools like that.

    Welcome to DKos Ash. Congrats on the 1st diary.

  •  and to think. . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRA NY, blueoasis, JanL, worldlotus

    I was the first to scrutinize this diary and look what you went, done and did. . .made it even better. Shame on you! No, wait; shame on me. Or something! Anyway, great job. I think the community is going to get behind you on this theme, and likely some who might even suggest you start wearing combat boots and a helmet to school. I mean, that's as close to a war zone that it gets (sans AK47s). Right? Just kidding. The kinder just make life a whole lot more interesting, and sometimes goofy. Keep learnin' em, Ash. They're worth the time of trouble and sharing. All kids are. Again, fine job. I like this draft even better than the first one. Really.

    Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

    by richholtzin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:06:25 PM PST

  •  Great diary (14+ / 0-)

    I can almost see the kids talking.   :)

    Teachers must do it for love.  It's the only thing that makes sense.

    I have to disagree on one point.   Here in Texas, many of our teachers are far from agnostic.  Particularly our science teachers.    They are Creationist Young Earthers who believe that man walked beside the dinosaurs.   We can even go to the "museum" at Fossil Rim, to see the dinosaur footprints beside the man footprints.  That proves it.  Right?  

    I know, because when evolution was taught in my daughter's class, her science teacher announced quite firmly that she DID NOT believe in it, even as she taught it.  And, there was the teacher in training who explained to me that she was going to be a science teacher, and also mentioned that she was a creationist.


    •  Point well taken! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, Temmoku

      The religion aspect was to show how intense teaching an be. There are many days myself and otehrs question everything in our litle world because of the day we have had. The beauty of teaching is the teachers own experiences, beliefs, etc. add to their classroom atmosphere. As for the science teacher who does not believe in evolution, Bravo! Teachers on both sides of that issue should be willing/able to teach the issue as well as the different views on it. The kids will make up their own minds, all we can do is present both ides of the issue, make sure they have enough information, and trust they will make the best decision for themselves. Kids are much better at that than the adults are at times!

      If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

      by Ash Leatherman on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:27:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A science teacher who teaches his beliefs (13+ / 0-)

        is not teaching science.

        As far as the science of evolution is concerned, there are not two sides to the issue. Evolution is part of the body of science, validated by actual, observable facts in the real world, while the so-called other side, creationism, is a hodge podge of speculation, superstition, tradition and wishful thinking.

        The person who gets into a science classroom to teach creationism does not deserve a Bravo! but rather a suspension and then a transfer to some other subject where opinions rather than facts matter. Would you say Bravo! to a swimming instructor who told her charges that if they only had enough faith, they could walk across the water?

        It is a shame that science has been politicised to the extent it has, but teaching creationism is the equivalent to a social studies teacher teaching that conservatives are good and liberals are bad. Neither religion nor politics has a place in a science classroom, and 'teachers' who insist on teaching creationism are responsible for bringing in both.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:04:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree to Disagree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Temmoku, Orinoco

          I know for a fact the science teachers at many schools teach both "theories" but I have to say, I still stand by my previous statement. Teach both "theories" as "theories" (which is how every biology teacher I know approaches this sensitive subject) and let the students form their opinions. That being said, yes evolution is apparent in every aspect of life. "Intelligent design" has become known as the compromise for the two. While I have spent most of my life as an Agnostic bordering on Atheist, I do not think it is my job to impose those beliefs on anyone; certainly not my students.

          If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

          by Ash Leatherman on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:25:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Creationism and Intelligent Design are NOT Science (11+ / 0-)

            at all!! A "Theory" in science is based on a collection of reproducible experimental data. ID and creationism stem from a supposedly sacred text. They are not scientific theories and have no connection to one at all. Do you believe electrons are real? Are they an actual thing? Has anyone ever "seen" one? The electron is part of Atomic Theory. No one has ever seen one yet our life depends on the precise manipulation of this "theorized" particle. Scientists say there is more information to back up the theory of evolution than there is to back up atomic theory.

            A science teacher's job is to have students develop the skills to observe nature, hypothesize about those observations, create experiments with an appropriate number of variables and then to look at the data obtained and make conclusions based on that data. When they have developed those skills they will be able to look at a scientific theory and determine for themselves whether it is valid. ID/creationism is not even science so it is not appropriate at all to compare them. (I spent 35 years as a public science educator in many roles including administration and now I am working at the college level teaching physics and working with prospective elementary and secondary teachers.) You are wrong in your understanding of what the process of science is and your words do not indicate you understand what a scientific theory is.

          •  I have to strongly disagree with you. Science (12+ / 0-)

            class is for science.  Evolution is a scientific theory which means that it is based on empirical  evidence and it is always open to being disproved by empirical  evidence.

            Creationism and ID are not theories. They are religious beliefs based on a sacred text, that some Christians believe must be taken as the literal truth, as in every word of this sacred test must be the literal truth. It was this "literal truth" bit about the sacred text that actually led to the development of Creationism.  Not all Christian churches believe in Creationism.  For example, the Catholic curch does not.

            I happen to teach science in a public school that is one highway exit from the Creation Museum in KY, and I teach the children whose parents work there and all the other kids that the local Baptist church and all the other churches who teach the Bible as being the literal truth bus them to it, every summer.  

            Since I teach science, I do not teach "religious beliefs" to my students.  I follow our state science standards, and it just so happens that the year I teach means I get to teach the supposedly controersial ones:
            - evolution
            - carbon dating
            - geological time
            - global climate change
            Yep, ALL the supposedly big "hot" buttons.  However ...

            So far, I have yet to have a single parent call to object, at all, and I've never had any students really bring up Creationism or ID.  I simply teach the science alongwith the supporting evidence.

            I've had students ask me if, "I believe in evolution."  I simply reply that science does not require or involve "belief."  I reframe their question as, "Does the empircal evidence support or not support the hypothesis or theory?"  Then, I go on with the examples. I conclude with we could go on and on with the supporting evidence, but so far, it all supports it, so I think it's a pretty darn good and well supported theory.  If anyone refutes it with empirical evidence, then of course I would not think so, aymore.

            Interestingly, I have yet to have a single student bring up the "evidence" in the Creation Museum.

            If a KY teacher taught Creationism or ID in science class, they would not be following the standards and would be reprimanded.  If they insisted on doing so, they would be dismissed.  Soon, 48 states will be adopting the National Science Guidelines which do not include the religious beliefs Creationism or ID.  I would expect that teachers in all of those 48 states will have the same requirements.

            Note:  Last I checked, Texasis one of the states not adopting the National Scinece Common Core Standards.

            I happen to be a Christian, and evolution is no threat to my spiritual beliefs or my appreciation for or of the Bible.  To the contrary, I find the evolutionay process adds to my appreciation for His creation.  However, my religious beliefs have no place in my science class beyond how they guide my constant efforts to care for all of my students and to be the best person I can be.  

            I'm sorry to hear that there are actually science teachers who are teaching religious beliefs in their classes.  BTW These issues are taken on as part of current events in English class in 9th grade.  My son chose climate change to write a persuasive essay.  I think these contemporary societal/ political issue s can and should be addressed in schools ... in english, poly sci, government or contemporary history classes --- not science classes.

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 12:48:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have said all I will say about this issue (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Temmoku, Orinoco

              I respect all of the opinions and always welcome a spirited discussion. However, I am not keen on being accused of knowing "nothing about science" because I agree with the way many science teachers address the fact that there are multiple theories. This has also spiraled into much much more than was ever intended by a piece merely meant to get a laugh out of frustrated teachers who encounter students like the ones described and adults as they are mentioned in this piece.

              If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

              by Ash Leatherman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:18:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no no and no (5+ / 0-)

                Creationism is NOT a theory.  It is a bronze age explanation of the natural world that has NOTHING to do with science or empirical observation.  Attempts to pretend that creationism is a science are fraudulent and intentionally so.

                They are NOT alternative theories.  theory has a specific meaning in sciecne.  It does not mean what you think it means.  It is not simply a random thought or "faith" you or others have.  If I suggesdt that there is a flying magic toaster, or a hate poor people JEEBUS, that is not a theory, and it is not an "equal magisteria".  

                Certainly, you have noticed that creationists do no suggest that other "theories" be discussed than Xtian creationism- they no more want Buddist "theories" or Roman "theories" or Norseman "theories" taught or discussed than they want science discussed.  they only want their own brand of magic taught.  That lon should alret you to the fact that they do noot want a discussion of "alternative theories"- they only want to prosetylize.

                As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

                by BPARTR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:55:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I am sure the science teachers you speak of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                are good people. Some attempt to finesse the pressure to bring religion into the schools by giving some class time to fundamentalist beliefs about the origin of Earth, the Universe and Mankind. Some truely believe it is their duty to their god to teach those beliefs.

                However, these science teachers are not addressing the fact that there are multiple theories. They are, as best they can, addressing the fact that there is outside pressure, from parents, from their pastors or co-religionists, from their upbringing, from fundamentalist administrators or school board members, from members of the general public, to teach religious ideas as if they were scientific.

                But the good people who are finessing outside pressure need your support in lessening that pressure. Your telling them "Bravo! great job!" for teaching a balance between science and religion carries the meta-message that they are doing a job that should be done. And the good people who sincerely believe they have a mission from god simply do not belong in a science classroom.  

                "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

                by Orinoco on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:51:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, ID is not a scientific theory (0+ / 0-)

            It is not testable.
            It doesn't produce new knowledge.
            It doesn't have a non-supernatural mechanism.

            The fundamental postulate of ID is irreducible complexity. Science is turtles all the way down.

            Stick to English.  I don't want to have to remove my rec.

            Light is seen through a small hole.

            by houyhnhnm on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:02:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I totally agree (7+ / 0-)

          Any science teacher who teaches creationism in science class, or teaches or encourages kids to not believe the curriculum that that teacher was hired to teach, should face disciplinary action, and be reassigned to a job where her religious convictions do not interfere with her ability to do the job she was hired to do.

          It is important to teach critical thinking in school.   But, teaching creationism in science class crosses the line.  Specifically, two lines.  The line between separation of church and state, whereby my kids have a right to get an education without their being indoctrinated against our wishes in a religion that is not our own, and the line whereby the teacher is hired, and paid with my tax dollars to teach science, including evolution, and if she can't do her job, she needs to be reassigned so that a teacher can be found who will do the job.


      •  Taking advantage (8+ / 0-)

        A teacher who teaches his own religious beliefs to his class, such as by teaching creationism in science class, is like a teacher who dates his students.   He is abusing his authority, and taking advantage of the students.     A teacher is only authorized by parents and the school to teach the subject that they are assigned to teach.    A public school science teacher has not been authorized to teach religion to the kids.  The teacher does have a right to free speech outside the classroom, but the teacher does not have a right to teach religion to other people's kids who have not given permission for that.  

        It's like hiring a babysitter, and coming home to discover that she is engaging your children in a Satanic ritual, or teaching your kids cuss words.    

      •  arrgh! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Temmoku, worldlotus, Orinoco, Tonedevil
        Teachers on both sides of that issue should be willing/able to teach the issue as well as the different views on it.
        No. simply no.

        There is no question about evolution.  It is a tautology, it must exist.  As to the relative importancve of various methods of selection of genes ( natural selection, founder effects, viral tansfer, etc) there is reasonable debate.  but the existence of evolution is incontrovwertable.

        Faith is the belief in the unbelievable- science is the belief in the provable or testable.

        As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

        by BPARTR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:48:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The truth is in the evidence (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Temmoku, Orinoco, pdxteacher

          I am beginning to think I worded something wrong. I am not saying teach an entire unit on the creationist view point. (That would be against the standards.) I am saying acknowledge that there are students in the room whose families have different beliefs! The evidence supports evolution which is hard and true fact and the students will easily see this. It is just my opinion that to silence the other students in the room is wrong.

          If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

          by Ash Leatherman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:04:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ugh!! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BPARTR, Orinoco, Tonedevil
            It is just my opinion that to silence the other students in the room is wrong.
            But Daddy told me 4+1 was um....... 200.

            We don't discuss religion in science class.  Teacher is the person who plans the lessons and has only a certain amount of time to cover material.  No time wasted on dumbass fundies wasting time.
            NO NO NO!
            my classroom had Mormons, Penticostals, Jejovas. Evangelical and many others.

          •  teach an entire unit? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TexMex, elfling, Orinoco, Tonedevil

            No, that wouldn't be how it is done- rather, the teacher simply adds a caveat to every statement, saying, But god ( the Xtian god) didn't reallly do this.

            The key is that apologists for creationists clearly don't believe that it is necessary to discuss the thousands of other gods posited by men in the past and present.  they feel no need to be inclusive of Muslims ( god forbid...) , Buddists, witch or satin worshipers, etc.   If one argues that a particular cult and only that particular cult needs to be included or discussed in a science and evolution class, then it is logical that ALL cults must be discussed, with equal time and specificity.  Do the Xtians really want discusion of Thor and Zeus and the earth goddess? simply, no.

            The agnostics you represent are only agnostic about the Xtian god- not about Zeus, Mohammed, etc, etc.  They are atheists when it comes to every other god, and they would not want those cults discussed in a science class, or anywhere.

            As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

            by BPARTR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:01:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Whether it's the Illuminati, (0+ / 0-)

            the existence of mermaids, or fundamentalist religion, I don't tell students they're stupid.  But it's very important to tell them, in a tactful way,  that these beliefs are not science.  That's my job as a science teacher.

            Light is seen through a small hole.

            by houyhnhnm on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:09:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  OMG ..... no (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, elfling, Orinoco, Tonedevil
        As for the science teacher who does not believe in evolution, Bravo! Teachers on both sides of that issue should be willing/able to teach the issue as well as the different views on it. The kids will make up their own minds, all we can do is present both ides of the issue
        There are not two sides. One is religious and belongs in the House of the Lord and the hearth of the home.
        One is science. period.
        We present that some are not comfortable with it but that is the domain of the minister and/or parent.  I tell them they are going to get the right instruction just like every other kid in America.  That they have  a right not to taught religion different from their family's faith.   When  very redneck Christian truck driver parent  challenged me on it I said. I am absolutely in support of you teaching you children your faith because they are your children, not mine.  I told him I teach about the human animal and the human spirit of his children was his responsibility.  I told him they should not be ignorant of the theory even if they didn't believe in it in the end. He appreciated it and was very supportive.
  •  I just finished my student teaching (9+ / 0-)

    also High School English. So, hopefully, next September I will hopefully be the "rookie". (Not at that school, they have no openings.) Difference is, I'm rather old for a rookie (48, to be exact!)

    I think I ended up with a better bunch of kids than you have by sheer luck of the draw :). Also, my cooperating teacher, who I loved and learned a lot from, was miles more strict than I am, so the kids saw me as a break (I made them work their asses off, but I'm easygoing by nature.) I got "Wow, I love your class, Mr D!" every day. And, since I was just a student teacher, I had to deal with far less admin bullshit. Although I can completely relate to "Can we listen to music while we write?" Got that all the time! (I actually have no problem with it, but my CT did.)

    However, I was an atheist long before I ever taught :D

    "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

    by ChurchofBruce on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:17:22 PM PST

    •  Good Luck With The First Year! (8+ / 0-)

      And congrats on surviving student teaching! I love the job and cannot imagine doing anything else. I'm also very ok with the music, it gives them something to do other than talk! haha Again, good luck with the "rookie" year! I'm sure you'll be great!!

      If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

      by Ash Leatherman on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:24:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I subbed in an English class for a while (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanL, Temmoku, worldlotus, Tonedevil

      and the first ten minutes of class were supposed to be dedicated to Sustained Silent Reading. It was very difficult to get the students to settle down, stop chatting, take out their books and read for ten minutes.

      I brought in a radio, tuned it to the classical music station, and turned it on as soon as the bell rang. I spent a couple days deflecting requests to tune to the latest pop or hip hop station, but by the end of a week all my classes were used to the routine, and spent 8 or 9 of the mandatory 10 minutes actually reading, instead of 2 or 3 minutes spent before I tried the music technique.

      I was SO proud of myself! TOO proud: smiling ear to ear, I told the school's principal about my innovation and it's wonderful effects, and was told to stop immediately on pain of not being requested to return (ie: being fired.) When asked why, the principal explained that some child would tell their parents, who would call the school to ask why they had a sub who did nothing but play music and read a newspaper when he should have been teaching.

      Rookie: beware.  

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:19:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My sister is in her 30th yr of teaching and she (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, JanL, Temmoku, worldlotus

    Spends probably 60 hrs plus a week at school. She puts in at least 12 hrs a day there teaching and as athletic director. She retired from coaching but now found another challenge. She loves it, loves the kids, all of it. And it does get better each yr as one gets used to it and can anticipate teens actions befrr they do it,lol. She says it isa skill that comes from yrs of experience.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:27:06 AM PST

  •  Hello? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandblaster, Temmoku

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:38:46 AM PST

  •  Seneca (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandblaster, Temmoku, worldlotus

    "It is when the gods hate a man with an unnatural abhorrence that they drive him to the profession of school master."

    Or there's always James 3:1. :-)

    As for me, I find the day affirms my belief in sin and the fall. --All that desire to achieve misdirected onto false goals or failed in effort. Through a glass, darkly.

    People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

    by The Geogre on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:57:13 AM PST

  •  sounds like my day....I teach ninth grade, too :-) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, worldlotus, Bryce in Seattle
  •  I taught English formany years (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, worldlotus

    now i am a social worker in the schools. Home with another bout of fever ( my 2nd in 3 weeks, the first was the flu then strep, from which I never recovered, now a bad sinus cold, it has been hell this year and parents keep sending thekids in sick because they can't stay home with them ) I was out six days with the flu/strep and a lot of my kids freaked out as a result; having someone to talk to really helps. What gets me is the lack of traditional shop programs for the nonacademic kids; they have to choose between vo tech and a regular HS, and a lot of them don't like vo tech. I spend my day cutting deals with teachers to get a kid a D....and a lot of them time the kids doesn't come through with his end of the bargain.

    •  The non traditional programs are vanishing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Temmoku, leftangler, worldlotus

      And it is very very sad to see. I loved auto shop and even wood shop when I was in school. It opened my eyes to new fields and gave the students who could not fit into the typical student roll, a chance to excell. The school I am at now has law, health, film, fine arts but none of the "shop" classes. There have been several complaints about it but they have not done anything to change it. It seems as though we are sending a message to students that these avenues to success are no longer acceptable. Again, it is very very sad to see. I would like to thank you for your work as the SW though. You guys have a very tough job and should be commended on a regular basis for it!

      If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

      by Ash Leatherman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:41:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to apologize for causing trouble in class (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, worldlotus

    I say that to every teacher whom I meet (wether they taught me or not) and I mean it.  I was an Instructor for a year at a County Tech School, and learned how really trying students can be (and cell phones just make it infinitely worse...)    

    An amazing, eye opening experience - I wish I could've continued doing it.  But without meaningful support from the School, no teacher mentoring program, no Union support, and a disfunctional school system, I felt I had to leave.  

    I literally re-wrote the packages for 5 Engineering college courses and delivered it during the same school year.  They hired me early in the summer without telling me this work had not been done.  I could've worked throught the summer months on the curriculum development... but the Administration said nothing.  Told me to show up the first day, and I would be walked through it all.  (It shocks me that they kept me in the dark about this - till the first week of class - even today.)

    These were HS students in a College-track program, being taught to operate metal machining equipment (lathes, grinders, band saws, etc.) and CAD systems.  The lack of support from the Administration was shocking, as was the lack of instructor camaraderie.  At one point, I had no transportation to get my students from the Trade School to the Community College where the equipment was.  I was initially written up by the Principal for even taking my students off-campus; he didn't realize I had to take them to the College since that's where the equipment was.  (Found out later that they recieve funding from the State for the number of students they keep on the Trade School campus all day.  My trips began to cut into the kitty...)

    One day we arrived at our Tech School home room (a former biology lab, with large tables carrying sinks with water, flammable gas lines for burners, electricity, etc.) for a day of instruction before going over to the Community College.  I unlocked the door... and it looked like a bomb hit the room.  Tables were smashed and in pieces on the floor.  gas and water lines were cut - below the individual table isolation valves - and water filled the room (thank God the main room gas isolation valves didn't leak by.)   Found out later the Building Trades teacher needed to give his students something to do, so he allowed them to wail away - unsupervised - in the lab to remove the tables.  Not knowing I was using the room for my class, of course.

    I could go on and on.  Riots on school busses; useless School Admin meetings; violent students; petty teacher jealosies.  Literally a war zone/PSTD environment; it just rapidly ground you down.  Even though my student cohort was highly motivated to be there, they could see that they were getting the short-shrift by the Tech School.  Many of them began to question why they entered the program.  I kept them from bolting the first year, but there were times I was sorely tempted to ask their parents to come over for a visit, just to see the conditions.

    But even with all that, I still miss the teaching part.  God, it was the greatest experience in the world.  

    •  I'm sorry for your bad experience (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That sounds like it was a very hard placement. Teaching is the greatest experience in the world when it is done properly. I can understand how you would miss it. I'm sure the students bennefited from all you did for them!

      If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

      by Ash Leatherman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:35:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lady if you're that miserable, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, Justanothernyer

    you need to move on. Start planning and working now to get another job. Try adult education, or corporate training, or something completely different. But if that's your attitude, I'd hate for my kids to be in your class. Sorry.

    the Republican brand is totally bankrupt.

    by vlyons on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:38:06 AM PST

    •  I think you missed the point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Temmoku, agnostic

      This piece is not a complain. It's meant to speak to teachers who encounter the same frustration on a daily basis. I've said repeatedly I love my job and could not see myself doig anything else. Contrary to what you might think, the students do enjoy my class- so much so I have won teacher of the month- several times.

      If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

      by Ash Leatherman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:29:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My initial thoughts were the same as vlyons (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If you have that much trouble getting started every day, you should find another career. People who love their work usually want to "get at it" every day.

        But if your diary is just an attempt to show the insanity of high school, you've succeeded. But then, most of the world is insane also! I agree many teachers are treated shabbily, but then, so are many employees.  Think about folks that are sent out of town on a moment's notice for a stupid meeting, only to miss a birthday or school play, etc.  Or folks that have to listen to stupid bosses spout corporate bs that everyone knows is bs (including the boss!)

        My advice is do your best and enjoy the insanity around you! Most of these kids will eventually become worthwhile human beings!!! (The others join the GOP leadership!)

        In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

        by TampaCPA on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:56:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tis all in good fun! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The only reason it is hard to get up in the morning is because it is so dang early! Honestly, I love this job and this was merely to show how crazy a day in the life of a teacher can be. The ups out-weigh the downs and usually the same student who caused the "down" time is the one to bring it right by up only seconds later. Watching students grow is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done and plan to continue doing for many decades to come!! Hopefully, I can keep a few out of the GOP as well haha

          If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

          by Ash Leatherman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:05:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, worldlotus

    Having been retired for 5 years, the reality of what goes on in the classroom came flooding back.  This diary is the most accurate description about dealing with students in the 7-9th grades that I have ever read.  It is exactly how I felt each day for 32 years!

  •  Was listening to Celtic Background Music .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, worldlotus

    During a class science lab - just last period. so the Gaelic Storm comment was appropriate.  You captured a slice of my teaching life. To those who wondered if this is really how teens act - it certainly is typical.

  •  I remember those days!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Glad I'm retired - don't miss them at all!

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:08:42 AM PST

  •  Don't get me wrong....i miss the teenagers, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They were often very funny and I had great times. But I do remember the kvetching and the petty remarks to each other and the almost fights---but most of the time it was just "tricking" them into learning. Which was fun.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:23:49 AM PST


    unless he snores

    "America is ruled by the moral philosophy of the dollar." Leon Trotsky, New York, Dec, 1916

    by runningdoglackey on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:54:54 AM PST

  •  Well there, Ash. . . (0+ / 0-)

    diaries sometimes go like this, especially satirical types. You make one point, commentators make another. But it all comes out in the wash and you still have to face the mob each day of the week and wonder why you're not out driving cab or something. Well, that's because you love what you do so much, despite the hoopla of no failing kids on his or her shifts. A circus maximus at times, right? Send in the clowns, indeed!

    Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

    by richholtzin on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 11:19:26 AM PST

  •  Your custodians actually sweep your room? (0+ / 0-)

    Lucky you! I don't know what ours do but we ask them weekly for toilet paper or paper towels in the teachers' bathroom and sometimes we get it. Nobody cleans our room unless we do it ourselves or turn it into some sort of community-building exercise with the kids.

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