Had an awesome couple of minutes as an educator this morning. I was up at the front of my classroom (which is at the opposite end of the room from the only door) teaching my kids during first hour when one of the 7/8 language arts teachers skipped (literally!) into the room and grandly waved a gift at me: a McDonald’s apple pie. I smiled and nodded and she left it on my desk and then skipped back out again without saying a word. I mentally filed “eat tasty treat” away on my List of Shit to Do and went on with my class.
Skip ahead forty minutes or so and my kids are (mostly) seated and (mostly) quiet and (mostly) working on their homework/end-of-class assignment and I decide that it would be a good time to eat my tasty snack treat, which was probably still warm and thus should be expected to be edible.
Allow me to pause here: as a reward for doing well on a test we took last week, one of the paraprofessionals in my classroom has agreed to bring Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the kids in my room. He has produced said Cups this morning; the kids know they are on my desk and have been told that they will be distributed closer to the end of the period.
(If you are inclined to now begin a conversation about whether Rewards with Candy are appropriate for the middle school setting, be aware that I hear you, and that at the moment I don’t much care. This is the least of my various inappropriatenesses. Which is a perfectly cromulent word.)
I pick up my apple pie and slide it out of its cardboard box (all good food comes wrapped in cardboard) and take one single bite. A student sees me do this and asks me, rather loudly, why they don’t all get apple pies and why I get to eat in class.
I have my back to the door.
“Because I am better and more important than you, my dear,” I say. “It is my great specialness that entitles me to this tasty treat. Watch, while I eat it right in front of you.”
(Yes, I talk like that. Not always, but when the mood strikes me.)
And then I turn around.
And discover that the director of math instruction for my corporation has somehow ninjaed her way into my classroom, is standing right the hell behind me, and has a giant, shit-eating grin on her Ph.D-havin’ face.
My kids, by the way, have no idea who she is; they have about as much understanding of the higher echelons of our corporation as you did at that age. They just know an adult has busted me. Now, I’m not in trouble, mind you; I have a good relationship with this person and she wasn’t in the room to bust me or anything like that. But it was a lovely “Oh, you have got to be kidding me, November” moment to add to the tree that killed my fence and my mother-in-law’s stroke and my cat nearly dying. November fucking hates me, people, and getting fired for mocking my kids while eating preservative pastries woulda just been the icing on the cake.
She thought it was hilarious.
We talked for a few minutes about the various things she’d come to talk to me about, and then one of my kids interrupted us to ask when the hell he was getting his damn candy (okay, he didn’t swear, but it came across in the tone) and well that didn’t help either, now, did it? And since my Big Lord High Muckety-Muck Boss was in the room (as opposed to my regular boss, who I will happily threaten children in front of) I couldn’t really do anything about it.
Let me remind you that I am literally on a committee that helps retrain struggling teachers on how to do their jobs right, because I am a professional.
Oh, also I was wearing jeans. Which I do every day, but still.
(Later that day, during third hour, my assistant principal also managed to ninja her way into my room without me noticing. I had a better excuse this time, as I was crouching next to a kid helping her with something, and wasn’t doing anything embarrassing this time, but I seriously thought about hiring Sven again.)