Category: Publius

The Mandatory Lesson Plan

By | Prose, Publius

I have to turn in the weekly lesson plan that nobody reads, the one everybody knows nobody reads.   But I got to do it anyway even though the district office hasn’t hired anyone to read lesson plans, and, even if they did, I don’t give a wank.   It’s mandated.   So I pretty much copy word-for-word the …

The Last Week Before Finals

By | Prose, Publius

This week, the district is doing everything it forgot. For example, every school is to average six fire drills per academic year.   Which  someone forgot.   We’ve had five fire drills in two days, including two back-to-back in one period. Most of the teachers aren’t angry.   We’re dissociative. It’s Wednesday and first period my kids had …

The Making of a School Teacher

By | Prose, Publius

There is today much hypothesizing about how to train teachers.   In my three decades in the classroom, I have supervised student teachers from a variety of universities.   I am certain that the qualities, which enable this career, at least in part are found in erudition, skill and emotional discern­ment.   Regardless of how teacher education is …

Of Cost-Cuts And Bosnians

By | Prose, Publius

8 AM             In order to save money, the school district is making bestial layoffs.   About one out of every four of the teachers will be fired by sundown.   Or so the rumor goes.   To deal with our anxieties, several schools of thought have developed.   Schools within this school, as it were. On my third …

Shoot-out at the High School

By | Prose, Publius

There was a shoot-out — and I mean like a full gansta shoot-out — up the street at 6:30 AM.   Twenty or thirty or more shots fired.   It happened in the parking lot of the A.M.E. church.   The smell of cordite lingered for half an hour.   Sirens, sergeants and paddy-wagons for an hour.    Ghetto birds, police helicopters, off and on for two hours.   Now, …

What Makes a Good Teacher

By | Prose, Publius

One reason I’m grateful to my colleagues is that, occasionally, they provide clarity. So this morning I go to the weekly meeting.   The new department chair reminds us about student portfolios.   To which I reply, ‘Huh?   Is anyone keeping portfolios?’ “You remember, the one’s we’ve been keeping since Charlie was boss three years ago.” “You mean those …

Back to School

By | Prose, Publius

Mr. Eagleton is scheduling his classes according to the National Weather Service. He’s not from here. So he comes into my room, and asks me about “the rainy season”. He doesn’t have any shades on his windows, so his plans to show movies on days when it’s overcast. Depending on where you are in the …

A Cop was Shot near my School

By | Prose, Publius

Although the high school where I teach was locked down for an afternoon,  it turns out we were never in much danger.   They caught the right guy, the actual guy who shot the cop, a couple of miles north of here.   When they cordoned-off this neighborhood, they surrounded the house of the wrong guy.   He saw a bunch of cops, so …