Sometimes, I still miss being in a classroom with angsty teenagers, challenging their young minds to think beyond the conventional and ordinary. But there are also times that I don’t miss it — when I think of checking endless mounds of papers, for example, or fighting ridiculous policies from the administration or DepEd.
Teaching can be a very colorful and trying experience. I remember a time in my second year of teaching when I walked into the classroom, and I saw something strange at the back. I went nearer and saw that there were several CD’s and cassette tapes arranged on a desk with a couple of lighted candles. It was a makeshift altar to Kurt Cobain, lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter of the rock band, Nirvana — whose death anniversary some of the boys at the back were commemorating.
Needless to say, that was a very strange physics class I had that day.
I still get a good laugh when I think about that now, and I also get a kick out of reading other teachers’ weird experiences with their kids. I recently came across a list of detention slips compiled by Mark Pygas and Jake Heppner. It was interesting reading through the various reasons why some students were sent out of their classrooms (with my comments):
- Marissa was “disrupting class – claiming to be the reborn Jesus and hitting another student with a Bible.” (Send her to me. I have some water I need turned into wine.)
- Another kid was found “drawing Justin Bieber in lessons, singing ‘That Should Be Me’ and hitting a non-’Belieber.’” (If he meets Marissa-Jesus up there, are they going to hit each other?)
- Raymond “threw a lamp at another student and told him to ‘Lighten the f*** up.'” (This is actually pretty clever.)
- Anthony was caught “unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a Superman T-shirt and announcing he was Superman.” (Did he wear red briefs outside his pants as well?)
- Casey was caught “leaping with intent to fly.” (He should take flying lessons from Anthony.)
- Joe “started with excessive chair squeaking and ended with farting in a student’s face.” (That’s called building up to a climactic finish.)
- Someone “volunteered to be a target for a paper spear and was hit in the face with it.” (Someone wasn’t very bright. Someone should throw a lamp at him.)
- Mason “looked up the dress of another student,” which he readily admitted in his own words: “I looked up her dress (I had my eyes closed).” (Yeah, Mason, sure…)
- A defiant student “used the F-word in the hall multiple times. When I said to him I should not hear that word, he told me to plug my ears and walked away.” (Well, that is a valid solution, you know.)
- But probably the most unjust case was that of Alex. His teacher wrote his parents saying, “Alex consistently defied me. During class he contradicted me numerous times when I insisted that the length of one kilometer was greater than that of one mile. Every other student…accepted my lesson without argument, but your son refused to believe what I told him, offering such rebuttals as, ‘You’re lying to the class,’ and commanding other students to challenge my curriculum.Although he was correct, Alex’s actions show a blatant disregard for authority, and a complete lack of respect for his school. In the future, Alex would be better off simply accepting my teachings without resistance.” (After teaching him something so clearly wrong? I don’t think so. If I were the principal of that school, the teacher, and not Alex, would be the one in detention, or worse, out of a job.)
Originally published in Sunstar Davao.