Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Dear Angry Teacher,
I'm sorry that you are having a bad day. I am sorry that it is only 7am. I know you must be having a bad day already because when I say "Good morning!" you always reply with, "Is it?" or, my favorite, "Can't be that good. I'm here." These kinds of early morning messages really help me prepare for a day of wonderment and loving interaction with my students.
I'm also very sorry that you decided to have a lab with your students today. Sounded like a good idea, but when I heard the screaming from your room and the buffalo stampeding of out-of-control children careening around the hallway I knew it wasn't. I was sad to hear you yelling things like, "I WILL LEAVE THIS PLACE! DO YOU HEAR ME? DO YOU HEAR ME?" I could bearly concentrate on teaching my lesson from the constant and ear-ringing slamming of your door over and over. I found it even harder to pay attention to my students when one of yours came into my room and sheepishly informed me, "Mrs. Angry Teacher done lost her mind. She gone."
Once the vice-principal convinced you to put down your car keys and get back into the room, I had high hopes for the rest of your day. However, when I heard you bellowing, "WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? WHAT IS THE M A T T E R WITH YOU? ARE YOU STUPID? ARE YOU A MORON? YOU MUST BE!" at a student that I also teach, my heart sank.
It sank further when, after school was finally over, you told me that you had thrown your entire podium as far across the room as you could. You told me this with a smug smile of furious satisfaction and declared that you would hold a (entirely ineffectual) silent lunch tomorrow. I asked you if you thought your furniture toss was a little much. You simply replied, "At least it wasn't a student...yet."
I know the kids are irritating. I teach the same ones you do. They make me mad. They push my buttons. But can I give you a bit of advice, Angry Teacher? Even though you have been teaching decades longer than me? The anger and shouting doesn't seem to be working. Especially since I don't yell and scream and insult and the kids do better with me than you. It didn't work when you busted your overhead marker in half out of rage and colored your hands and your floor green. It didn't work when you backed a student up against a fence and hollered in his face until he finally threw his binder across the field. From what the students told me, the podium throw didn't help them want to listen better or do more work.
You hate teaching. You hate the kids. If I had so little control, I would hate it all, too. Perhaps a career change is in order? I mean, I know you have a lot of years racked up, but are you happy? At all? Please consider what I am saying. If you hate kids and teaching, please do something else. You don't help the students. You certainly aren't helping yourself.
I write this with much love and hope for your future happiness.
Take care, Angry Teacher.
¶ 4:37 PM