For my kids’ school, I need a teacher scorecard. It’s not to score the teachers. It’s to keep track of them. Every year, a week before school starts, we used to get a phone call from each of my kids’ teachers introducing themselves. No more. Now we just head over four days before the first day of school and look for “the list”. Or in our case, having three kids in one school… one grade in fact… : “The lists”. Which kid has which friends in their class? Which kid has which enemies in their class? And most important: Which kid has which teacher… and for how long? Hence the need for the teacher scorecard.
Let me say that I think all of my kids have had very good teachers so far (with the exception of one who was a newbie and in over her head.) But something’s just not right about this school. It’s their last year there so we’ll ride it out… I guess… Is it just me? You be the judge.
My kids are going into fifth grade and this is how my one daughter’s teacher situation has been thus far. Get that teacher scorecard ready.
First grade: Teacher announces she’s pregnant and is gone by spring. She has substitutes the rest of the year.
Second grade: (Cut and paste) Teacher announces she’s pregnant and is gone by spring. She has substitutes the rest of the year.
Third grade: Fine.
Let’s go to recess here before I proceed onto fourth grade. Believe me, you’re going to need your energy for that one.
You can imagine that after those early grade experiences, Meet-the-Teachers is very important to me. Literally meeting the teachers. I want to see them face-to-face. The vast majority of their teachers have been women. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m always hoping for older women. Not so old that they look like they’re totally over teaching and only have enough strength left to put up posters of cruises on the wall, and that calendar that they’re “x”ing out days on until their retirement.
And yet not too young. Like they look like either this is their very first teaching gig or even worse: They just got married and are planning to start a family. I like ’em somewhere in that mid-range: Like she still loves teaching but has no interest in ever having any more kids than the ones she already has at home and the twenty-three sitting at the desks in front of her. But in fourth grade, my whole tidy age discrimination system back-fired on me. Now to continue:
Fourth Grade: Got your teacher scorecard handy? If you already know how to use a baseball scorecard: Who was taken out for a pinch hitter. Who was put in to pinch run. What players are involved in the double switch…, my teacher scorecard, unfortunately, will be eerily similar.
At fourth grade meet-the-teachers, my daughter’s teacher appears to be teetering in the pre-menopausal age range and I’m pleased as punch. A few weeks later, she announces to the class that she’s taken a new job within the school and leaves. They take a fifth grade teacher, disband his class that he’s had for a month or so and disperse those kids out among the remaining four fifth grade teachers. Then, circa March, he gets pissed because of something he believes the school did unjustly to one of his coworkers, so he leaves and my daughter gets her third teacher of fourth grade– someone who’s never taught fourth grade, has never had any intention of teaching fourth grade, and who, being over my preferred age limit, is naturally packing up her stuff preparing for retirement. Got it?
Now, this year… good thing none of my kids got left back in fourth grade because that one daughter’s teacher retired as promised, my son’s fourth grade teacher left the school and my other daughter’s teacher left the state. So now they’re going into fifth grade and we’ll find out this week who their teachers are… Or if their teachers are. (Keep that teacher scorecard out. I hope you’re writing in pencil.) We know one of the fifth grade teachers because she was my son’s second grade teacher. But they never replaced the fifth grade teacher whom they moved down to fourth grade to be my daughter’s teacher last year before he got pissed and quit, plus another one of the fifth grade teachers left. One’s been replaced on the staff list on the school website but that fourth teacher spot, a week and a half before school starts still says “TBA”. I’m just going to call her Tammy Bonnie Allen for now. I just hope she’s not a rookie they just brought up from the minors.
(Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you’d like more laughs at your children’s expense, please take a look at my latest eBook especially for parents & teachers at this time of year by clicking the book cover icon above or visiting the homepage. http://laughingisconceivable.com)