Category: Publius

Your Huddled Masses Yearning

By | Prose, Publius

Majeed is an immigrant.   He speaks five languages, and is illiterate in four of them.   He learned Afghani at home, and the other three languages in refugee camps throughout Europe. He never attended school, not one, until, at fourteen or fifteen, he enrolled in this high school.   He spoke no English.   I know he flunked …

The Ultra Magic Classified Decoder Ring Secret Handshake News

By | Humor, Prose, Publius

So this morning, the assistant principal takes me aside like we’re plotting an overthrow of the government. She actually clears out a room of the library, locks the door behind us. She jokes about what folks might think, B.C.I., as my students would say, booty call implications for those of us of a certain age. …

Good News from the Ghetto

By | Prose, Publius

So the first burst of celebration at our school is over, and now the reality of having done well on the state test sets in. The good news is that the Obama Dash For The Cash has passed us by. My school was to be reorganized, which most of us viewed akin to the sentencing …

Rule # 37. If you want to be a better teacher, be a better person.

By | Prose, Publius

I was just asked to teach a methods course at a local college, one that is historically this city’s normal school. I said no for three reasons. First, I don’t teach 16th grade. Second, I consider methods courses inane. Third, I don’t need the money – in fact, even if I was that desperate for …

Acceptance

By | Prose, Publius

A decade or so ago ago, I was teaching in an all female, Catholic high school.   A few weeks before graduation, two female students were caught kissing in the bathroom.   One student, Marla, was a current student of mine.   The other, Diane, I had taught a few years before.   Both were very good, serious students, …

This Afternoon, Metropolitan High

By | Prose, Publius

I have a long afternoon grammar class. It begins with Tom being called a “fat ass” by Tanya, to whom Tom in turn says, “Suck my dick, bitch.” Then it starts to get ugly. By the time I settle this nonsense down, I’m summoned to go to a mystery meeting that was just called. I …

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1st Period, Metropolitan High

By | Prose, Publius

Across the hall from me, Mr. Gates is having a wall installed in his room. He doesn’t need a new wall, and tries to explain this. He also tries to explain that he had plans to teach today, as opposed to suffering hammers and saws all day. The workmen respectfully listen. Gates is seven feet …

An Hour In The Life of a Public School Teacher

By | Prose, Publius

7 and I sign-in. I smile at the new secretary, Mrs. Dexter. She’s nice in a vacant sort of way. She’s got an IQ best described as unpretentious. I watch her type a letter. “deAr Msr. evans.” She has never used a computer, never even turned one on. She doesn’t answer the phone very well …