A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Gadfly Stingeth

My retired colleague, the Socialist Gadfly, got a gig at our school teaching for a fraction of the day for wheelbarrows-full of money due to a sudden influx of kids. So he's taking the money and running. He's got no duties, he doesn't have to go to parent-teacher conferences for more than two hours, he sleeps in, he goes home early. All is gravy. So why is he determined to drive me absolutely ape with all his questions?

"Why do you DO that hall duty? I'd refuse to do it. You're being taken advantage of."

"Why do you even bother? You know the administration doesn't care about _________ if it comes to the referral level."

"You don't have to try to be teacher of the year anymore."

"Why would you break up a fight? I wouldn't do it."

And on and on every lunch.

And so I answer: "Because it was assigned to me, and I am a professional. Yes, I am certain that it is not appreciated and that I am being used. Because I really don't care if I am pals with The Laziest AP on the Planet. Because I am never going to stand by and watch someone get beaten in front of me if I can help it. Because I have ten more years in this building before I can retire, and I don't want to be part of the reason why this building might slide right into the crapper."

My curmudgeonly friend will be out of here the second the bell rings on the last day of school. But I have to live with myself.

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At 3/6/08, 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unique blog you have here; an interesting read.

At 3/7/08, 6:52 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

This person is obviously NOT part of the change he wishes to see in the world...

At 3/7/08, 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Because the students are worth it. If that's a question, then it's the WRONG QUESTION.


At 3/7/08, 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Civil rights activist Will Campbell writes in his autobiography of being on a hunting trip with his friend, a minister who spent most of the trip cursing his congregation and complaining about how big of a pain they were.

Campbell finally asked him why in the world he was in the church if he had so many problems with it. The friend looked at him with disbelief.

"'Cause I was called, you fool!"

I expect most teachers who stick it out might see themselves as "called" one way or another.

At 3/7/08, 12:36 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I like that story. Especially as that is exactly how I feel.

At 3/7/08, 5:54 PM, Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

Because the kids matter.

Jeez, I don't know how you put up with some of the nutjobs that you work with.

At 3/7/08, 9:39 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Sometimes I don't either. All I can wonder about is if he's performing some kind of perverse thought-experiment on me to see if I know myslef.

And sometimes I can't put it into words-- I just know what is right and what is wrong, and I don't have the time or the energy to be able to justify it.

I need spring break.

At 3/10/08, 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I deal with someone who's sometimes like that.

Frankly, for me, it's easier and ultimately less soul-sucking to just do whatever the task is than to sit around and complain about it (or have to justify it to someone).

Stuff needs to get done. You're capable of doing it. Isn't that enough?

(However: I do not think the burden should always fall on the same person. That guy sounds like he's not pulling his full weight.)


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