Pardon The Interruption
As I think about Back To School (cue the ominous music here, please), I always try to mentally prepare myself for each aspect of my day, perhaps invent a new and improved system that may make that part of the day flow better than ever. As a teacher, the one part of the day I could never quite conquer was the morning announcements.
Is it just me, or do most teachers, upon hearing these three little words, often turn to the intercom with a look on their face that screams, “Oh yeah? Well, pardon this!” and you can almost see them imagining themselves flipping off said interruption with a big old middle finger?
Or maybe that was just my reaction. My bad.
I have been to visit some schools where the morning announcements are not an assault on one’s senses. (Yes, they exist!) I’ve seen pairs of children literally skip down to the office and grin ear to ear when the principal hands them the microphone. They dutifully make their way through the pledge and remind everyone about a bake sale, or book sale or some other after school wonder and then sign off with a jaunty yet original goodbye that you just know took them hours to come up with. When I’m in schools during these moments, I half expect Mr. Rogers to appear from around the corner and burst into song as all the other children file into the hallway to hold hands and sway in rhythm to the music. (And yes, I’m aware that Mr. Rogers is no longer with us, but if anything could channel him back from the beyond, it is moments like these.)
HOWEVER, I have also been to schools where the announcements are not just part of the morning routine. They are a constant presence. Kind of like that fly that keeps buzzing around your picnic, except imagine a really relentless and angry fly with just a hint of bitterness. These sorts of announcements usually pertain to a) hallway sweeps where presumably serial wanderers are “swept up” only to be disposed of? returned to where they belong? subjected to listen to a reel of announcements to learn their lesson? b) tickets to a dance c) the behavior yesterday when it snowed and everyone went batshit crazy d) hallway behavior e) cafeteria behavior f) auditorium behavior and, my personal favorite, e) angry reminders to turn in a stack of forms that could have nicely been handled in an email.
Does that disconnected voice located in a land far far away (aka The Office) not realize what a terrible tone these types of interruptions are to our day? Do they not have email accounts or a bulletin board or some other less public and more quiet vehicle for their rants?