Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hot For Teacher

Did you know that it's teacher appreciation week? Chances are if you're a teacher or if you have kids in school you do. I know this because I am stuck in the middle of a vortex of teacher hell.

Lemme break it down so you can feel my pain: My mom was a teacher to blind kids, taught them how to read and type braille. Well THAT set a level of awesome which I will never achieve. The Ball and Chain is a high school history teacher with 2 degrees under his belt already and will be graduating with his masters next spring and rumor has it he may continue on for his doctorate. So I'm reminded that I'm a world class slacker and underachiever every day and what the hell is he doing with a loser like me, other than the fact that I rule. My mother in law is a 2nd grade teacher and I'm pretty sure she thinks I am the Devil Incarnate. Which I AM, but I didn't think my in-laws knew that I moonlighted as the Lord of the Underworld at night. Guess the jig is up. She isn't exactly winning any Mother In Law of the Year awards so she better get used to the idea of her grandson taking over my Empire of Evil or else she'll get a first-hand look at what a plague of locusts looks like. Plus she wears Teacher Sweaters--those wonderfully nauseating oversized theme sweaters that only teachers are lame enough to wear, with embroidered happy pumpkins on them for Halloween and ones with bells and light-up reindeer noses for Christmas. Supercool. My brother in law is a teacher to underprivileged kids in the ghetto of Harrisburg and is going to Princeton this fall on a full scholarship to major in...wait for it...Urban Studies. Little nerdy white guy teaching in the hood. Brother better recognize that Real Life is nothing like Higher Learning starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Oh well. A good shanking will do him some good. And finally my sister in law will be graduating this spring to become a kindergarten teacher. Because that's EXACTLY what this college town needs is another 23 year old who isn't Jaded By Life yet to realise that teaching 5 year olds isn't exactly as rewarding and fulfilling and earth shattering as the college classes brainwash you into believing. Come to think of it, she could use a shanking too.

That's not to say that teaching is easy and anyone could do it. Let's face it, the job sucks and is probably one of the most underappreciated and underVALUED white collar jobs out there. Teachers spend more time with kids than some of the kids' own parents do. They sometimes have to go in to work extra early and stay extra late and get nothing extra for it. They have to chaperon dances, coach sports, oversee clubs, manage after school detentions and again, there's no such thing as overtime pay. They deal with combative parents, rigid superintendents and classes full of kids who are anything but respectful. Because most schools have limited budgets, teachers end up paying for supplies out of their own pocket and never get reimbursed for it. Much more than you think. Teachers will bring in special things to the classroom in an effort to get the kids more interested in the subject only to have these things broken or stolen. All this for a meager- and I MEAN *meager*-salary. Joey Brooklyn, my neighbor down the street, works in a factory and gets paid DOUBLE what a teacher makes.

So if you want to let your teacher know that you appreciate them, send them a card, buy them a gift card for dinner, get them a hooker, whatever. Just don't buy them anything with apples on it because it isn't cute and funny and chances are they roll their eyes at you when you're not looking. What isn't cute but damn funny is the gift that one of the Ball and Chain's students gave him--a Zippo lighter with a picture of a mud flap girl on it.


Perhaps not the classiest present, but I suppose a 16 year old can't exactly buy their teacher a bottle of Jack Daniels- which is what they REALLY could use at the end of the day. Or beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, teachers have all those things plus "No Child Left Behind"... or "No Child Left Able to Think" as I put it.

    As for the gifts, I had an Apple yardsale when I retired. Made several Grand. But the best gift I ever received was a bottle of tequila and a bucket of that slushy stuff you mix it with. Honest.