This story is over 5 years old.

The Education Issue

Teachers Are Stupid

After 17 years of living in a zoo (being a public school teacher), I've carved out a niche for myself-I only teach "gifted" children.
Κείμενο Harry Gillespie

Mary Kay Letourneau. Now there's a teacher to be hot for. Photo from AP

After 17 years of living in a zoo (being a public school teacher), I've carved out a niche for myself—I only teach "gifted" children. My class contains 17 girls (all Asian) and four   boys. Only one of them isn't Asian. (I'm including India and Pakistan here.) I'm new to this world. Confused by questions like, "Mr. Gillespie, how can I do better?" (You have an 88% average, but… I guess you could score some high 90s to bump it up?) Two years ago, among the animals, I didn't teach one thing all year. Please take that as literally as possible. Not for one minute of one day did I teach. One hundred percent of my time was spent saying, "Get down from there," and "Quiet everyone." And the best part? This position was given to me simply because no other teacher at this school is capable. You should hear them. Here's a two-hour meeting we had yesterday: "Should we teach spelling first and then grammar, or should we do grammar first?" How about we just teach them the English language? It requires spelling AND grammar. If you check your tools bar in Microsoft Word you'll notice "Spelling and Grammar" are combined. Oh yeah, you don't have Microsoft Word. Most teachers don't even own a fucking computer! Being one of the few computer-literate people in the school, I often have teacher workshops and answer asinine questions (often from computer-literacy teachers). After the workshops I always receive irritating phone calls from teachers that were too lazy to attend. Here's one of the more startling ones: I can't get this computer to work. Nothing. It's blank.
Is it plugged in?
Does the outlet have power? Plug a lamp in there to see if it works.
Wait, hang on. (Two minutes pass.) It works.
Did you turn your computer on?
How you do that? (She's a Spanish teacher who's only been in the country for a mere 15 years, so her English skills are a bit weak.)
You have a Mac, so you can turn on your computer by pressing the top right button on your keyboard.
What's the keyboard? (No joke, I swear.)
The thing that has all the letters and symbols on it.
Where is it?
It should be right in front of your computer. You know how you type in words to write the reports? It's the thing you use to do that.
Oh yeah. I see it.
Okay, press the top right button.
Then I hear the bong sound of the Mac starting up in the background. This is typical of my life with teachers. They are stupid.
Gillespie is a public school teacher in Oakland, CA.