Category: Publius

Edward Scissorhands

By | Prose, Publius

I couldn’t make this up.              I love this job.   At the end of work on Monday, we’re told that “there will be a faculty meeting after school for fifteen minutes.”   True to their word, it only took fifteen minutes to tell us that downtown just mandated yet another standardized test.   This one test will …

Smart, Charming, and Crazy

By | Prose, Publius

My vice-principal is smart, charming and crazy. She’s pretty in that southern big haired sort of way. I have on any number of occasions found her helpful and insightful. Those would be the times I don’t want to strangle her. I am no diagnostician, but I believe her to be both narcissistic and borderline. She …

Toward Educational Reform: Being A Dissertation On Cost-Cutting, Time Management And Broken Locks

By | Prose, Publius

Samantha got locked in her classroom with thirty-three students. Since most of the janitors have been laid off as a cost-saving device, it was hard to find anyone who knew what to do. Aside from that thirty-four folks instantly needing to pee, Samantha’s problem was that her class was like an annual plenary session of …

The Last Supper

By | Prose, Publius

Today is the last day of school. I planned on getting some pizzas delivered to my classroom. A gift for my students. But not a single pizza place will deliver to our neighborhood. Not one. I really feel bad about this. I explain it to the kids. They understand. But I’m still hurt. I say, …

Owning our Words

By | Prose, Publius

Not long ago, my student teacher asked me, “What is the greatest change you’ve seen in the last ten or fifteen years?” My answer surprised me as much as it surprised her. I answered with a question. ‘When did testing become morally ambiguous?’ What follows is a small tract from an educator to my fellow …

Cutbacks

By | Prose, Publius

The big honker STATE TEST is coming up. So today, we had a brief meeting in which we were told, “Oh, and don’t worry about writing.” To which the English Department collectively responded, “Huh?” “Yea, don’t worry about writing.” “I know I’m going regret asking,” I say, “But, ah, why?” “The state is making a …

Honest!

By | Prose, Publius

I’ve been reviewing my standardized testing scores. They suck. Thank you, Sweet Jesus. By every indication, I teach in a low performing, ghetto school filled with poor whites, poor Blacks and dozens of disadvantaged immigrants. So my scores suck. My scores from my regular classes suck, and even my college credit kids did poorly. I’m …

Letter from Publius

By | Prose, Publius

Hey Simms, I know what you mean about my painting a terrifying picture of teaching in a public school. I’m mindful of how, when he was on his deathbed, Marco Polo was asked if all those stories were true. “I haven’t written down half of what I’ve seen,” he said. I’ve written what is entertaining …