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Stupid People

February 17, 2009

By day, I teach high school math. I am consistently shocked by the stupidity I see on a daily basis. I am not saying that all our students are stupid or that any of them are stupid, but they sure do stupid things.

For instance, I had a student today turn around during a test and ask the kid behind him, “Is this the ones where we…” Not only did he do this during a test, he did it in my eye line. Then he had the nerve to be shocked when I called him down for cheating.

I didn’t give him the zero he deserved; I isolated him and will take off ten points. It’s easier to defend than a zero. Sad, isn’t it, that teachers have to defend their grading and disciplinary actions these days. It used to be that a teacher’s word was law.

I also find myself constrained by rules designed for students. For instance, students are not allowed to use cell phones during school hours, not allowed to have them turned on. Sound reasonable? But teachers are prohibited from using cell phones “in view of students”. I can’t whip my phone out to call a parent. Coaches can’t use them to verify the status of a game in bad weather. If my daughter’s babysitter calls to tell me something bad happened, I am expected to slink into a workroom before I answer, and I’ll be “talked to” about the simple fact that the phone rang at all.

See? Stupidity. It ain’t all from the kids.

For the record, I agree that teachers don’t need to be making dinner reservations or chatting up boyfriends during class time. But there used to be a line between what was acceptable for children and for adults. That line is blurred now, presumably out of respect for the feelings of the poor dears.

All right, I am ranting now. *deep breath* I just long for the day when teachers are considered professionals again, experts even. We went to college, we know our stuff. Why am I treated like a student and paid worse than a garbage collector?


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