Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An open letter to my students:

Yeah, you are absolutely right.

Of course my primary motivation for delaying graduate school, uprooting my entire life, and taking a fairly low paying job that makes me miserable and leaves me with almost no free time was to oppress you. Trying to ensure you have some understanding of physical science is just a clever tactic for keeping you down. That's what white people do, right?

I couldn't cut it in college. I'm a pathetic drop out; after all, that's the only possible reason I would end up teaching in a school like this and living in a town like this.

I'm terrible at math, even worse than you, ninth grader who has no idea how to multiply fractions and sometimes struggles with long division. That whole thing where I sometimes solve an algebra problem and find that my variable to be something other than a positive integer is evidence of my stubborn ignorance.

I'm only here because I want to pay off my student loans.

Your math teacher and I do have terrible crushes on each other. The fact that we were talking to each other at the football game is absolute proof. Sadly, there's no way we'll ever work up the nerve to get together without the intercession of dozens of fourteen-year-olds. Maybe if you can persuade him to ask me out, you'll get to be best man at our wedding.

I am indeed a former gang member. How else could I have known what those signs you've been throwing meant and written you up?

I want you out of my class. It isn't that you are being so blatantly and persistently disruptive that none of your classmates can learn right now, or anything, I just get a kick out of sending people to the office. Also, if I can manage to get everyone suspended I won't have to work.

I am nuts. Not only do I not watch Hannah Montana, I don't even have television. My car is old, my cellphone is terribly uncool, and I wear the most pathetic assortment of hand me down clothes known to man.


Anonymous said...

Ah, this makes me laugh, now. I remember one of my students coming to me when I was barely into my second year of teaching. My teaching assignment had changed because two teachers left mid-year, and my 9th grade classes were given to a long-term substitute. My former student told me "Wow, we thought you were bad, but this guy is terrible!"

I also remember being told point-blank by a student "you can never wear that outfit again."

I am so glad those days are over for me. Have you had any students write on your clothing without you noticing? It happened to me.

Hang in there. They will respect you...eventually.

sara l said...

Things will eventually get better. Your kids are in that wonderful part of life where they "know everything" but are still trying to figure out who they are. I think it's one of the hardest ages to work with.

Hang in there!