MOVarazzi

Sunday, February 19, 2012

672. Frijoles, Part III (Conclusión)

(This is the exciting conclusion to Part I and Part II of my story.  It will not make sense unless you read those first.)  

If I was not restricted by the school's CIA (Confidentiality Information Agreement) rules that I had (evidently) signed (under duress), I might take a moment here to explain how typical students react when a teacher, real or impostor, proves in front of them all while they are watching her intently that she has no clue about what she is supposed to be doing, such as simply turning on a video (the irony of course being that I can speak Spanish! I can teach Spanish! Quite well!), but since my autograph is in my permanent file next to words that promise not to “publicize incidents,” I will say that the students were perfect angels—smart, happy, quiet—they all deserve A+’s. Let’s say that my perfect angel students pretended not to notice my deficiencies regarding basic technology.

I spent the next several minutes fiddling around with three remote controls (three!) and pressing buttons, plugging and unplugging, opening and closing, on-ing and off-ing, hoping for the magical combination of the technological equivalent to randomly winning the lottery.

It was not to be.

If I had not signed the previously mentioned CIA form, I might spend another paragraph or five going into excruciating detail about the kinds of things typical students at a typical school (not Crazy Town Elementary) might say or do in such a situation. If this situation happened in say, a John Hughes movie, most likely the teacher in question (me, played by a dressed-down Charlize Theron, or if Charlize was not available, then a slightly-frazzled Reese Witherspoon) would be an object of ridicule and contempt, and even pity. The students might whisper disparaging things about her, things that she and the audience could clearly hear. The teacher in a movie like this might blush, cry, or even try to leave. Or she might break that fourth wall and look directly into the camera to say, Why is this happening?  

But this was not a movie, this was my life, and these were not child actors, these were real people who need their privacy respected, and so I repeat: the students were perfect angels—smart, happy, quiet—they all deserve A+’s. 

I pressed more buttons, and lovely sounds of happy cartoon chickens conversing in Español could finally be heard … with the inevitable accompanying grainy picture of static. Then, after even more clicking of keys and praying (by me, in English): at long last, a familiar (albeit, this time mute) chicken.

In the end, I may or may not have asked one of the students for help (I legally cannot divulge which one, but let’s just say he looked a LOT like Tall and he may or may not have called me “Mom”). We were able to watch the video after all, although it may or may not have been cut short due to my not rewinding it. We may or may not have had 10 more minutes to kill, where I may or may not have called on different students to conjugate irregular verbs.

A perfect easy day.

MOV
("Maestro's On Vacation")
P.S. This scenario may or may not have played out in an identical fashion five more times in the next six hours.

P.P.S. *Disclaimer: The above is a work of fiction, any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental, and the above story is for entertainment purposes only, and does not imply anything other than the fact that all students at Crazy Town Elementary are perfect angels—smart, happy, quiet—they all deserve A+’s.

8 comments:

  1. I will let you in on a closely-guarded teacher secret--not all substitutes are as incredibly qualified as you are. While I know that some, like yourself, are able to do the most amazing things with the students in their charge for the day: build a model of the Bay Bridge to test tensile strength, write an essay worthy of publication in The New Yorker, test different theories of quantum physics--most are barely able to speak in complete sentences. Worksheets and a video? That teacher trusted you.

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    1. wow, kirby, thanks for saying all those nice things (which once again prove that you've never met me). I appreciate your vote of confidence!

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  2. Honestly, that doesn't sound like a bad first day! i mean, yeah...stressful...slightly rumpled...but overall, a big success! I give you an A+. As a second language teacher, the odds were 50-50 that any sub who came in for me could speak even a single word of French. So worksheets and videos were about all I could leave for a substitute teacher. A tip for next time: start the period by calling for a helper to set up the video for you. Guaranteed that a kid will get it done faster.

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    1. aha! the helper! now I know the secret, thank you for sharing that. Is this the kind of thing that "Real" teachers go around discussing amongst themselves in the teacher lounge? (and by the way, after several months I am STILL terrified to go in the teacher lounge, like someone might say, "What are YOU doing in here?!?" and then, like, have me removed. *sigh* I eat lunch by myself in the classroom, alone. (some things never change since junior high)

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  3. A fitting and rewarding conclusion to a gripping tale of triumphing over adversity. And thank goodness for Tall...er....child who shall remain nameless.

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    1. thanks, Marianne! glad you liked it!

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  4. Yep, the dreaded possessed VCR player. *sigh* The bane of all "guest teachers" -- as they are called at our son's school. At least you made it through relatively unscathed. Perhaps next time things will go a bit better with the "technology." But, HOORAY for the Spanish part! Boy 1 is in a two-way immersion program where he learns in English 1/2 day and in Spanish 1/2 day. It's a great program.

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    1. I like the idea of the immersion program. WHen you hear it spoken all day, you have no choice but to let some into your brain here and there.

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When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)