Monday, February 8, 2010

It's official, I'm a mean and spiteful jackass

I subbed today at a high school (turns out I'm not sick, just a dramatic hypochondriac so disregard yesterday's post). I was working for an English teacher (hey, I'M an English teacher!) so I was thinking it would be a pretty good day. I walked in this morning and I saw that this teacher has a student teacher and I was thinking, woo hoo! I can read my book all day! Then I recognized the student teacher. He was in my linguistics class last year. I LOVED linguistics class partly because I was totally awesome at it, and partly because I really liked the odd little professor who was Korean -as in recently moved here from Korea. (He had a thick accent and one day he said the word "squished" but he pronounced it "squish ed," like two syllables and I right then I wanted to pick him up and hold him like a baby and now my favorite word in any language is "squish ed.")

So anyway, this now-student teacher was in that class and he was an ASS HOLE. There were only about 25 people in the class and it was in a tiny room. This guy would talk and talk and talk with his friend constantly, mostly about how bad he thought the teacher was and how unfair the class was blah blah blah, whine whine whine. It was a constant distracting drone to the point where other people in the class were telling him to shhhhhhh, to which he took offense and shhhhed them back. The poor professor didn't know how to handle it because apparently in Korea if you disrespect the professor you get caned or something horrible like that. (I'm not even kidding, I think there is hitting in college in Korea. Or else my professor was a liar, and I don't think he was.) I think the professor wanted to cane this guy, but alas, caning is illegal in the U.S.A. (It is, isn't it?)

So I put up with this guy the whole semester (and also destroyed the curve. ha ha) and then I thought I was free of him.

Until today. This morning, when I remembered who he was, I was interested to see what kind of a teacher he is, since he certainly had very vocal ideas about what a good teacher was last year. First hour was a prep hour so he sat down with me and told me about his lesson for the first class. And then he told me again in a different way. (I still didn't care.) Then he worded it a different way talked about it some more. I figured this was just his way of getting prepared so I let him drone on while I went to the bathroom. I came back and he still wanted to talk about it. I asked him if he wanted me to do anything because sometimes student teachers want help with classroom management (re: assholes), but he said he could handle it. He's been doing the whole schedule for two weeks, he told me, because he is so "capable." .... Okay. (who SAYS that?)

Then the kids came in for the first class and let me just sum it up by saying it was the longest 45 minutes of all of our lives. It was a teaching nightmare. I sat back and watched it happen because he didn't want help because he's so capable. I watched as he totally threw his carefully talked-about lesson out the window because a kid said, "I don't want to do that." I was secretly loving every second of it, hence the title of this post.

After that hour he asked what I thought. I said, "There are some tricks to classroom management that maybe you should look into." He said he didn't believe in "tricks" when it comes to teaching. I said, "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA..... I'm sorry, wait a minute...... just a minute...... HA HA HA HA HA HA H HA HA!" Just kidding. I only laughed on the inside and actually said, "Well, not 'tricks' exactly, more like 'methods' that might help you out. Like saying the name of the kid whose attention you are trying to get." He said, "That doesn't really work."

The rest of the day was just as bad, with some brief moments of not being terrible, but one class actually disintegrated into a game of "telephone" which of course turned pornographic within the first five turns. In terms of bad teaching decisions, this rivals the time when I ran an alternative high school and one of the teachers asked me if he could take his class out to look for his dog that ran away that morning. Um.... no.

After school I got a mini-lecture on how it is important for the kids to trust you and respect you in order for them to learn anything from you. I was creeped out by the bizarro-world feel of the whole day so I left.

The part that makes me mean and spiteful, and generally an all-around jerk, is that I am still so very gleeful thinking of how horrible this guy is compared to how great he thinks he is, all because he annoyed me so much in linguistics class. And also I used the words "alas" and "hence" in this post and anyone who does that is a jackass.

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