Don’t Mess With the Best, Cuz the Best Don’t Mess

So, by a show of hands, how many other teachers out there worry sometimes that they are working with some real idiots?? Anyone? Or am I all alone on this one?? Seriously, I find it scary sometimes how some of the most basic things I teach (telling time and using a calendar to be specific) are so darn challenging for so many adults. (sigh) Perhaps they need to join my morning meeting and routinely get their minds ready for the day because whatever they’re morning routine is currently, it just ain’t workin’.

Let me explain. Tomorrow is… (drumroll) Picture Day! Tah-dah! You remember picture day, don’t you? You wait in an endless line in your school’s gym/auditorium/cafeteria just waiting to get to the table so that you can claim your sketchy little black plastic comb. And then you sit on the stool with your feet placed awkwardly out in front of you while some strange adult adjusts your head to the most ridiculous, uncomfortable and unnatural angle humanly possible…is it coming back yet? Well, I get to repeat that joy each and every year with my class. Yes, I too often wonder how this is my job as I stand in that line.

This year, we received the schedule for picture day last Thursday. And, despite lunch having been at the same time for at least the last six years, our pictures were scheduled to be taken during lunch.

Of course they were.

So I write a lovely note back, biting my tongue and holding back my vicious pen, informing the idiot, I mean, my colleague, that unfortunately we were scheduled to have our pictures taken during our lunch period and explain why that will not work for us. I lovingly place the note in said person’s mailbox and go about my business.

Fast forward to today. One day before pictures. Three business days after I have placed the note in the idiot’s box.

No new schedule.

I wait until mid-day and check again.

Still no schedule.

I guess I can understand the delay as this individual’s other responsibilities include….um….well…now that I think about it, I’m not sure what else this person does. Despite seeing this person on a regular basis, I’ve never actually witnessed them doing any real work. Unless you count the numerous memos that are sent home riddled with type-os. If you count those, then yes, it is possible that this idiot is overworked.

I decide to call this person (who has an office while, by the way, I am not even allowed to have a DESK much less an entire office because my space is supposed to be all about the children which makes me feel oh so valued). In my sweetest voice possible I ask:

“Have you had a moment to work out the new schedule for tomorrow?”

She replies with a surly, “You’ll get it by the end of the day.”

In my dulcet tones, I reply, “Ah, thank you. But I’m trying to get ready for tomorrow right now…could you please just let me know when my class will be visiting the photographer so I can write it into my plans?”

She snarls, “12:00”.

Ever so delicately I say, “But that is during our gym period. I’m fairly certain that our schedule is posted in plain view in the office downstairs too…I am not actually with the class then.”


(insert sound of screeching brakes here)


Did she just hang up on me??

As the rage builds inside of me, I swallow it, pushing it down to that place where all teachers store their frustrations so that they can smile and be amazing educators despite the sometimes insurmountable idiocy and incapability that surrounds them. And as I push that rage deeper, I find comfort in my new plan to take each memo she sends out to be distributed to parents and picture myself joyously correcting every single one of her absolutely embarrassing grammatical errors with bright red pen. And I smile, as I imagine placing the edited copy anonymously in my principal’s mailbox so that he may also bask in the glory of others inadequacies.

Why not share the wealth??

(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)
  • Oh no she di’int! Do it — blatantly correct the typos. You have to now; it’s a matter of honor!

    February 12, 2008 at 3:26 am
  • I don’t THINK I work with idiots, I KNOW I do- when your colleagues can’t figure out something so simple, makes you wonder how the kids manage to turn out as well as they do.

    February 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm
  • good lord, the nerve!

    i work with plenty of people who do nothing too, but so far i haven’t encountered that kind of rudeness. definitely correct her idiot work!

    February 12, 2008 at 9:46 pm
  • Confession from a grammar-obsessed parent:

    When I get a notice home from school with a spelling or grammar error in it, I mark it in red pen and send it back (anonymously through the mail; I can’t saddle my kindergarten child with this baggage) to the adult who originated it.

    I only do it with flagrant errors (as opposed to “I think your comma would have been better placed here…”) and I never do it to students, although I will send a corrected notice to the faculty member advising their group, especially if it’s a high school group that wants my money.

    ANYway, I confess that here because I am very glad to see kindred spirits yearning to make corrections from within :). I hope you do it.

    February 13, 2008 at 9:27 pm
  • Hanging up on someone is so grade school 😉 Last year, my principal asked another teacher to ask me if I liked him or not.

    My response, just because we teach at middle school, do we have to act like middle schoolers?

    Seriously we are adults who hold professional jobs. The fact that she hung up on you just screams for retaliation . . . srriously

    February 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm
  • ps stop holding your pee. I just got a killer bladder infection and learned it’s nicknamed “the teachers’ disease” because of our 8-3 business. Or non-business, actually.

    February 14, 2008 at 3:59 am
  • Anonymous

    I’ve often thought about doing that to my principal (who is inarticulate in writing and in person) and today when I got “put on notice” for being 10 minutes late to an early morning meeting when another faculty member didn’t show up because she is babysitting grandchildreon on sick leave – I do think it is time to take a stand also. Go for it and so will I!!

    February 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm
  • my computer operator routinely hangs up on me. she often class me during my instructional periods and insists that she has to talk to me, even though i insist that i am supervising an activity or facilitating a discussion and must speaking during my planning, which begins at exactly 1:02 PM each and every day. i nearly hate her.

    February 16, 2008 at 1:53 am
  • Just happened here via Mad Mad.

    I’m working on my credential right now & am debating whether I should or should not keep reading!

    February 19, 2008 at 5:03 am
  • Wow…that’s quite brazen! It’s frustrating working with people who just don’t get it. Hope things get better for you. And yes, the typo thing should be brought to light. It’s a horrible reflection on the school!

    🙂 Susan

    February 21, 2008 at 3:44 am
  • i’m a teacher too…and i can’t stand seeing grammar and spelling mistakes, especially when made by professionals! we all slip up now and again and make a mistake but when something is going home to parents or being published, i just think it should be proof-read!

    February 22, 2008 at 11:27 am
  • Hi! I’m a new visitor stopping by your site and can certainly relate. I retired a few years ago, after 25 years. I loved the profession the first 20 years but when I hit my 40’s, the patience was GONE! I don’t envy you having to deal with such rude people! I plan to stop by again! =) Hang in there!

    February 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm
  • LOVE it!! Thank for ALL your very true posts!!

    February 24, 2008 at 12:14 am

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