This article was written by Brad Weinstein - the principal of Irvington Preparatory Academy in Indianapolis, IN. He can be found posting what’s funny, frustrating, and fantastic about education from @teachergoals on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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1. The “Please see me later” email, text, or in-person message from your principal.
Nothing puts an uneasy feeling in your gut more than heading to the principal’s office, even as an adult. You automatically start thinking about everything you have ever done wrong in your entire life, every email you have ever sent, and every conversation you have ever had.
2. When you see that your most behaviorally-challenged student has younger siblings.
You tell yourself, “let’s just ride this out until the end of the year and you’ll be done,” only to see that there are more siblings--younger siblings yet to come through your class!
3. When all of the stars align in the worst way and all of your classes have a major assignment due in the same week.
I don’t know what it is, but even when I teach different classes, there is always a week where most of those classes seem to have something big to grade at the same time--and there goes my nights for the foreseeable future.
4. When you have lost your coffee cup and you are running on fumes.
With the thousands of interactions you have in a day, it is easy to misplace whatever it was in your hand at someone’s desk, on a counter, or in a hallway. What’s worse, however, is that the very thing keeping you conscious goes missing--your precious coffee!
5. The last period of the day.
The kids are done, I am done, and we all know it. The problem, however, is that those kids passing their standardized tests is part of my evaluation!
6. When three people in a row get an answer wrong and you call on the kid who always is on the ball--and they don't know either.
Every class has the go-to kid that they can call on when all else fails, which is especially useful when an administrator is observing. When the go-to kid wasn’t paying attention, doesn’t remember, or didn’t get it, all hope is lost!
7. When your best behaved students are actin’ a fool.
No matter how bad a class is, there are always a few students that you can strategically place around the room in hopes of separating the problem students. A problem, however, is when the problem students have pulled your best behaving students to the dark side!
8. When an administrator comes down the hallway with a laptop to observe someone--maybe you.
It almost always seems to be the case that an administrator happens to know when you have an off-day, you have your worst class of the day, or you have a mediocre lesson planned.
9. Homemade treats from a student who you think is capable of poisoning you.
It is hard to trust anything homemade from anyone--who knows who handled the food, how it was made, what the ingredients are, etc. What makes it even more interesting is when you get homemade treats from a kid that possibly has a Voodoo doll of you in their locker.
10. When you forget your lunch and have to try cafeteria food.
With the amount of things running through your mind, it is easy to forget things on your way out the door. Let’s hope that the meat you got in the cafeteria line is really beef.
11. Indoor recess.
There are few things more frightful than when you see that it is pouring down rain all day or it is too cold or icy out. Hundreds of kids bursting with energy in a small space is enough to give any teacher nightmares.
12. The copier when it's crunch time.
Some teachers play Russian Roulette with the copier daily--waiting until the last second to print things. The copier, however, can sense urgency and fear!