I wrote this poem at work today. I dig it so now ya’ll gotta listen.
I am stymied by life’s cycle.
I wish only to express original thought.
Why would I write it if it’s already been read?
Why would I say it if it’s already been said?
Alas, there’s nothing new under the sun.
Ever want to feel useless? Become a substitute teacher. Being a sub is the only job where the people you supervise know they have more authority than you. I’ve been a sub for about 3 years now. I’ve only had one other job for this long (delivering pizzas) and I loved that job. This job has it’s benefits. For one there’s a shortage of teachers in New Orleans because or system is so screwed up and an even greater shortage of subs. So the system definitely needs me more than I need them. It’s hard to get fired from being a sub and you can pretty much go in whenever you want cause there’s always a need for you somewhere. Subbing resembles babysitting except that you’re handling anywhere between 10 and 30 kids at the same time. Subbing for grade school and subbing high school is like two different worlds, but both equally bad. Elementary kids are the worst. They are ALL bad. I’ve been to the good schools, the ones with parent involvement and children from well structured homes. I’ve been to the bad ones with kids from single parent homes where the mother takes no interest in her child’s education. I submit to you again, they’re ALL bad. They have way too much energy all the time. They don’t sit still ever. Everything is an issue. If one of the other children sticks his tongue out then that turns into a ten minute whining fest where they’re all trying to get the last word. When they do something they always lie and say they didn’t do it. One time I had a kid throw a book across the room. He looked over to me to see if I saw him throw it. I was watching the whole time and was staring him in the eyes when he turned with that guilty look on his face. That little boy had the nerve to tell me “What? I didn’t do anything!” You evil little bastard. I wanted to wring his lying neck. As if they aren’t bad enough, I’m a man and a young man at that. They don’t buy into that concept and they try to endear me as a friend which takes away all authority. Then there’s constantly something to do with these bad ass kids. There is always a lesson plan to be followed. Good luck trying to work with a student individually. That’s like a free pass to make a fool out of yourself. I hate kids. The high schoolers are a little better because they don’t really want to be bothered so for the most part they stay out of your way and can be bribed into being quiet by telling them they don’t have to do anything. However, on some occasions they refuse to adhere to even those simple rules. And there is no illusion of authority. At the high schools I go to some of these kids are older than me and most don’t give one whit about the word future. How can you discipline a student who doesn’t have anything to lose? Well I don’t know what normal teachers do but I’m a sub. I just sit there and try to ignore the insubordination. For the most part this works out ok except that my mom has been employed by the school board for 30 years and is a Superintendent over several schools. So no matter where I go she always knows the chief administrators. My mom on way more than one occasion has made sure to let me know I better not embarrass her and these were all before the age of 12. So now with that guilt ingrained in me it makes it nearly impossible for me to slip into Gian nonchalant mode and do nothing without fear of repercussion. Anit wrote in one of her previous posts how she feels like a fraud at work. Let me tell you Anit there is no bigger fraud than the substitute teacher. Trying to impersonate power you don’t have. Taking instructions on how to deal with kids who don’t care what you are saying. Trying to stay under the radar and hope that none of the schools head disciplinarian come in your vicinity and see your group of kids going crazy. The school I’ve been subbing at the most for the past few years and currently is by far the worst school ever. I mean it doesn’t have the reputation some of the other schools have because the other schools used to be much worse. But I’ve been to those schools. Some of them are getting better, some staying the same. Frederick Douglass is the worst, and getting worse. I mean these kids are so bad. I haven’t seen any fights lately but I’ve seen plenty of the after effects of it. And at some point they fought between every class period. There is constant commotion in the halls. Today, and this made me lolrl (laugh out loud real life) but these bad MFers had the nerve to have a second line in the damn hall during class. For those of you not familiar with a second line it’s basically people walking in a line dancing to some secondline music played by a jazz band. I’m not doing justice to what the second line is because it’s my favorite part of any event where you can find it. But I assure you school is not the place for it. Two kids walk in front “kicking a beat” and then two or three follow singing/chanting at the top of their lungs. Then the other kids follow and dance. A damn parade right there during school. It was so funny, one of the teachers stopped one of the students and was like what’s going on? The student was like “Man you trippin. We tryin to have a second line.” Nigga go yo ass in a classroom and read a book. The boys are always either freestyling, “tappin out” which is a play fight with open hands, or slapping some girl in the face. The girls are all either trying to sleep cause they’re pregnant, or getting loud with each other about who’s finer out of T.L. and lil flip. A lot of them are future or current criminals, but all of them live amongst criminals. There’s some good kids in there but lawd the bad ones!! I just wanna give them some shock treatment.