This week has seemed extraordinarily long considering I wasn’t in school on Wednesday. I needed to day off to accompany someone to the hospital. My co-teacher, however, took the opportunity to prove she wasn’t the most caring person in the entire world. After me explaining why I needed the day off and her explaining how I couldn’t have the day off unless I found someone to replace myself, our conversations got ridiculous:
Me: ‘Why if I was in the emergency room and I was really ill?’
Her: ‘You would call me very very early in the morning and send a replacement teacher.’
Me: ‘What if I can’t find a replacement?’
Her: ‘Then you must come to school.’
Her: ‘I don’t understand why you want to go. In case it is bad news?’
Me: ‘Well, yes and because I should go.’
Her: ‘Well, what if it’s good news, then you don’t have to go.’
Me: ‘Yes, but how will I know that unless I go?!’
At 2pm, after my first class:
Her: ‘Did you find somebody?’
Me: ‘How would I have found somebody? I’ve been teaching my class!!’
Her: ‘If you really want the day off you have to go down to the principal and get permission to take the day off and then get permission to get another teacher.’
Me: ‘OK.’ I started to put on my cardigan to go out of my classroom.
Her: ‘You will really take the day off?’
Her: ‘You want to tell them now?’
Me: ‘Yes.’ (they go home at 5pm)
Her: ‘You did not find anybody.’
Me: ‘No. But I can tell them I won’t come in and then if I don’t find anyone and I do come in, it’ll be a nice surprise.’
She stares at me blankly.
Her: ‘So you will come in?’
Me: ‘No, if I don’t find anyone and I come but I tell them I’m not coming, it doesn’t matter, does it?’
She stares at me.
Me: ‘If I tell them I won’t be here. And then I do come in, no one will care. But I will have told them I’m not coming in.’
Me: ‘I’m telling them I’m not coming in.’
Her: ‘I will tell them.’ (the office speaks NO English)
At the end of the day:
Her: ‘Did you find somebody?’
Her: ‘I guess you just have to come to school then.’
I’m standing in her classroom holding my mug, my jar of coffee, my dice box for games, my giant foam dice and my school cardigan I wear when I’m cold. Having made it clear to me earlier in the day that I would be fired if I didn’t come to school the following day, even though I spent the entire day telling her I wasn’t coming in, I opted to take home all of my stuff just in case I did get fired and couldn’t get back into the school to get all my things.
Her: ‘Please don’t make me stay awake all night worrying you will not come to school tomorrow.’
Me: ‘I’m not coming to school tomorrow.’
Her: ‘But you have to.’
Her: ‘You will come?’
Me: ‘Probably not but we will see tomorrow.’
My old manager calls as we’re walking to the train station to tell me one of his subs at his company can do it.
My co-teacher: ‘I did not know you called him! Why did you call him?!!’
Me: ‘Because I worked there for two years. I know they have spare teachers in case someone goes sick.’
Her: ‘You really want the day off?!!’
Her: ‘You know, I had bird flu and the medication didn’t work but I came to school everyday because we can’t take any days off. It’s not allowed.’
Regarding the masses amount of snow that fell, a kid comes into my classroom.
Kid: ‘Teacher, I fell in the snow. My bottom hurt!’
My replacement teacher on Wednesday was a South African/Nigerian man.
Kid, on Thursday: ‘Teacher, in your classroom, yesterday…who was the dark man?’
Me: ‘What’s your favorite day?’
Kid: ‘No. Fri. Day.’
Me: ‘So tomorrow?’
Kid 2: ‘Today is Thursday.’
Kid: ‘Oh yes, tomorrow.’
Me, to kid: ‘Why are you late?’
Kid: ‘I’m just late.’
And then he sat down.
During a spelling test:
Kid: ‘What soap spelling?’
Me, calling attendance: ‘Duke?’
Kid: ‘On a date.’
Kid: ‘He’s on a date.’ (the kids are 11)
Duke walks into the classroom. I look at him and then back to the other kid.
Kid: ‘It finished.’
I honestly think my students take waaaay too much pleasure in ratting me out when I run in the hallway! ‘JENNY TEACHER IS RUN!!!!’
Last week I said ‘I’m not running. I’m walking fast.’
Today, I saw a kid running.
Me: ‘No running.’
Kid: “I no running. I walking fast.’
Dammit. Why’s THAT the thing they choose to remember?!