Monday, February 04, 2008

Lessons from a Zombie Teacher

Here's a little piece of trivia that will surprise no one: Elementary school teachers have fairly poor skills in dealing with adults when they are in the thick of a zombie day. In the years that I have subjected myself to this line of work, I've been talked down to by countless of perfectly lovely teachers who have no idea that I'm a fully functioning adult with a completely developed brain. I don't take it personally when they explain to me what how to read a book to a group of kids or give a spelling test. These people spend all day repeating themselves to little zombies who drool and scream; the teachers can't help but talk in mono-syllabic sentences, use a visual aid and then repeat themselves. Like I said, I don't get insulted, I understand, but today really took the cake.

I was at a certain school here in town where the teachers are granted a half day planning period once a grading period in which they are supposed to analyze data in hopes to keep the wolves from their doors. Here's how it went down with the teacher I met with in the morning:

Overworked Zombie Teacher: So first make them do their "question of the day" in their folders.

Me: Okay.

OZT: The folders are over here. No, I'll move them right here so you can find them. But the kids know where they are. The kids will hand them out.

Me: Okay.

OZT: After that, they get their timed multiplication test. They get two minutes to study and then the test is for one minute.

Me: Okay.

OZT: The practice books are over there. Do you see them? In that box that says "Practice Books"?

Me: Yep.

OZT: You know what, I'm going to move that box to over here in the front.

Me: Okay.

OZT: So, it's two minutes of practice, then the test for one minute. Here's my timer. Do you know how to use one of these?

Me: Yep.

OZT: You know what? I'm just going to set this for two minutes now and all you'll have to do is push start. Do you see where it says start?

Me: Yep.

OZT: Okay, then that should be it. You have any questions?

Me: Nope.

OZT: Well, if anything comes up I'm just going to be in the room across the hall. Just shout if you need anything. Oh! Do you know how to use the SmartBoard?

Me: Yep.

OZT: Good. Okay, I've got to go.

I wish I was making all this up to be funny. I've subbed for this particular teacher many, many times in the past and she's always this way. When she writes out her plans, she sometimes gives me lines to say "because the kids are used to me saying it that way". No kidding. I love that she had to set the timer for me, but takes my word that I can handle the SmartBoard!

In the afternoon, I had to go a different room full of younger zombies. I'm not as familiar with this teacher, but this conversation was one for the books!

Little Zombie Teacher: Tomorrow the kids are starting state reports. I need you to make their research folders. You take these envelopes and cut them in half and then glue them in the folder.

Me: No problem. I've seen this before.

LZT: In here last year?

Me: No, in other schools?

LZT: Really?

Me: Yeah, lots of other schools.

LZT: Oh! So you know what I'm talking about?

Me: Yeah.

LZT: Okay, so you take an envelope and you seal it. Then cut it in half and glue it in the folder.

Me: Okay.

LZT: You've got to seal the envelope first. Like this. (She proceeds to show me how to lick an envelope and then close it.) Got it?

Me: Yep, I got it.


Weaver said...

Love it! so funny, but also so glad that I don't live it :)

Nance said...

Was she wearing the little wooden necklace that had cutouts made to look like school-themed objects? Did she have on a denim jumper and flat shoes? Does she drive a van or a huge Chrysler?


Weaver said...

so, so sorry to hear about the new round of water! Norwalk has quite a bit of flooding too I hear. Hope everything dries out soon!

J. said...

Weaver: Living it is rarely funny, but this time it was. Just have to roll with the punches!

Nance: There will be no making fun of the official uniform or mode of transportation, thank you! Denim is our signature fabric that unites us all. School themed jewerly is just optional.

Weaver: Can't talk. Drowning.