Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dear Student IV

Dear Student,

I don't know anything about you other than your name and that your blond hair likely comes out of a bottle. I don't know anything about your friends, either, except that the girl in the far left corner of this room looks like the stereotypical redneck and that your brunette friend in front of you could stand to smile. Perhaps if she smiled, she'd be somewhat attractive. Oh wait...I just saw Ms. Brunette smile and the contortions of her face scared me. So forget that I said anything at all about her physical attractiveness. In fact, from what you've showed me so far, all three of your personalities are so unattractive that your looks just don't matter. 

We've spent 37 minutes together now, a time during which I had to reprimand you several times for talking. As a substitute teacher, I understand that you walk in the classroom and rejoice. Your teacher is out for the day and you can, presumably, do less work. I get that feeling--I really do. Believe it or not, I was once in your shoes. But you need to understand something: as far as subs go, you could do worse. A lot worse. (I'm not patting myself on the back here. I've heard some of the subs that inhabit the classroom. They've been mean, demeaning, and downright ignorant. But that, of course, is for another post.) And for the most part, I do not mind when students are talking. Which means that if you had spoken quietly to Ms. Brunette and Ms. Redneck and had you not disrupted the entire classroom, I likely would not have said anything at all to you about how much talking you were doing.

But you and your cronies have gone below and beyond any low standard I have expected until now. You're calling out across the room, not doing your work, and pulling up pictures of men you hope are single on your phone. (Really. I'm not kidding. I just heard you say, "Is he at least single?" Let me tell you honey, if I see him, I'm going to tell him to steer clear of you.) You've rolled your eyes at me, thrown snide remarks my way, and basically disrespected me to the point that I want to spit at you. Or throttle you. (Again, I'm not kidding.)

Of course, I can't spit at you or touch you or even tell you what I'd really like to tell you (yes, it's that bad) because I will get in trouble. So instead, I try as hard as I can to let you know what you should be doing. I even go so far as to ask if you'd be behaving this way if your regular teacher were here. "Yeah, we talk when she's here," you say. And I have to wonder if she really lets you get away with this behavior. Because if she does allow this crap, then I have no chance in hell of making the next 13 minutes go any better.

And since I can do nothing to you besides write a note to the teacher indicating you were disruptive, I'm going to say this now so I can at least get these negative feelings off my chest. You might sit there, snapping your gum and rolling your eyes at me, talking about people you saw at lunch and calling them fat, but someday--I don't know when or where or how--you will not be the cool chick in the corner. You won't be the bully. You will be the person who is being bullied or stepped on, or crushed. Or maybe you'll be brought to your knees in other ways, when you least expect it. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not wishing harm to you, because I would never do that to anyone, least of all, someone I've known now for 38 minutes. I'm just wishing life to you. The ups and downs, the good and the bad, the positives and the negatives. Most of all, my hope for you is that someday, someone treats you the way you treat other people. And I know they will. How do I know this? Because I've lived a hell of a lot longer than you. I've seen what life doles out. And I know that Karma's gonna get you, and as they say, she's a bitch. (There's another quote about Karma that I like: "I hope Karma slaps you in the face before I do." Yeah, that made me smile. Or how about this: "Karma has no deadline.")

Oh look, our time is almost up. I'm sure you'll be thrilled to walk out my door. I want to say one other thing to you before you go. I could live the rest of my life without seeing you again. EVER. And that is saying a lot. Which means the next time your teacher asks me to sub, I might just say no. Ten dollars an hour to babysit a bitch like you isn't nearly enough.

Sincerely,

Your substitute teacher

1 comment:

Bethany House said...

Oh, the joys of substituting... in which one or two kid's bad behavior overpowers the entire class. Substitute teachers really must be made of stern stuff!