July 16, 2014
At 7:15 this morning, my school year officially began. Well, my school year officially began at 7:32, I was late. No matter though, I only missed breakfast, served in the junior high cafeteria complete with the little jr. high tables and little jr. high seats and a jr. high breakfast. Yum. Rest assured, those of you who believe teachers are failing our children, most administrators are failing teachers, so we are kinda even.
If you are a teacher, you would probably do well to skip this section as I would hate to be responsible for any flashbacks you might experience. I am currently, well, writing this blog post, the teacher across from me is playing Candy Crush, the teacher next to him is checking out his Facebook, the teacher to my left is stuck on an Emoji puzzle, and the rest of the hundred or so district educators are praying they do not win the door prize. This year’s prize? Season tickets to the Colorado River’s series of concerts, otherwise known as what passes for cultured entertainment in a ridiculously small town. There are several male teachers within my earshot who are teasing one another about what they will do if they in fact, win the door prize…I can’t really distinguish what they are saying as I am scrunched down behind one of them so I can surreptitiously write my blog post from my iPhone without anyone being the wiser.
I’m ear hustling some of my colleagues’ more interesting sounding side-conversations. Not to be done in polite company, I know. But, it is blessedly keeping me from nodding off. One teacher is having a running commentary with her text messages. She has items listed on Craigslist but is having trouble trying to text back her potential customers. That’s about as interesting as it’s gonna get around here. Unless I want to listen to a plethora of, “How was your summer’s?” I may have to actually pay attention to the Welcome Back to School presentations.
Now here is the ultimate in irony. A trainer from the local health club is droning on and on about the benefits of physical exercise. His goal is to encourage all of us overworked, under excersized educators to sign up for a membership to his gym, at a substantial discount of course. The irony of it all is that the people responsible for today’s presentations and such are the same people responsible for seeing to it that our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students no longer have recess. Seriously? Mr. Gym Guy gets to preach to a bunch of mostly middle-aged teachers about the benefits of running around to keep our bodies in shape. Meanwhile, our 11, 12, and 13 year old students are forced to attend school from 7:15am until 2:30pm with absolutely no recess whatsoever? I am not exaggerating, dear Readers. Students are allowed into the cafeteria at 6:45am to eat breakfast and they are not allowed to leave until the morning bell rings at 7:10am. Then, the students are allowed 30 minutes for lunch, which must be spent in the cafeteria. They are released when the bell signals that it is time to start the afternoon classes. NO RECESS. How many 11, 12, and/or 13 year old kids do you know would be willing to learn after no physical release of their pent up energy? Jeez, and teachers are to blame for the failure of today’s education. Yeah, right!
Well dear Readers, another beginning of the year, welcome back presentation has come to an end and I must go prepare my classroom and my lesson plans for my students’ return on Monday. And just so you know, I often times have cafeteria duty during the school year. I’ve been known to release the students from the cafeteria 10-15 minutes before lunch is over so that they can run around on the playground before returning to their studies. I am such a rebel! It’s gonna be a great year! Peace, ~v.