You know that teachers have an hour of plan time scheduled into their school day, right? Actually, it's fifty minutes. With four minutes of hall-watching time on either side. And for elementary teachers, that fifty minutes may not all be in one chunk. Or even every day. But you can bet your sweet patootie that their time averages to 250 minutes per week. At least at Elementia. Those shrewd pedagogues are a force to be reckoned with. Excuse me. I meant to say, "Those shrewd pedagogues are forces with which to be reckoned." Don't tell on me, okay?
You would expect a teacher to spend plan time planning lessons, right? Or grading papers already turned in that morning. Or eating bonbons in the teacher workroom and gossiping about the students, if you are a throwback to the good ol' days. But you would be wrong, my friends.
Life is what happens when you're having plan time.
Sheryl Crow wanted to use my idea for a song. But I told her to stuff a sock in her gaping yawp and go soak up some sun. You'd think a fellow teacher like Sher would stop trying to plagiarize the ideas of another. I told her she'd never get ahead that way. I wonder what ever became of her, that fellow Bootheelian...
I have the unavoidable fortune of second hour plan time. I know, right? What's the point? You just get rolling and some nervous passenger pulls the emergency brake. You can grade one set of papers. Or maybe copy things ahead of time that won't be needed until tomorrow. But usually you barely have time to fill out assignment forms for absentees and the recently incarcerated rule-breakers, or observation forms for IEP students, or grade make-up work from last week's absentees, or discuss recent test results or updated evaluation procedures. It's not like you can take your shoes off to let the dogs air out, expel a bit of silent gas, drink some water that's in no danger of being spiked, blow your nose without an audience, or make a trip to the bathroom without fear of appearing on the evening news after being charged with abandonment.
Today, I had just entered my room from the hallway observation deck when my mom showed up. I was expecting her. After all, I had to share some of yesterday's delicious canned soup. What I was not expecting was the death of my mini-fridge, my long-time companion, of natural causes. Did you know a corpse can still run a fever? Even when you disconnect it from life support? So I gave Mom the soup that had been warming its heels in my cabinet for lo on two hours, and encouraged her to execute the ol' 23 skidoo.
As soon as I sat down with my assignments from first hour, to peruse, perchance to grade...the #1 son showed up with his laptop. That's his independent study hour for the physics class he has to take through Mizzou because Newmentia does not offer it. #1 wanted a critique on his essays for college applications. No sooner had he flipped his lid than Mabel, my teaching buddy from another hall, strode in. She had a recommendation for a certain student that she wanted me to type. Because she has not typed anything since her college days. And this is her thirty-sixth year of teaching. I find it hard to say NO to a grizzled veteran such as she, one who has shaken, not stirred, the hand of Wernher Von Braun. That's important to us sciency people.
I tried to protest. to inform them that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, contrary to the opinion of the masses, has a JOB to do around here. They poo-pooed and snickered. As if I was joking! Then they proceeded to tell me HOW to type and format such a letter. As if the blind could possibly lead me better than I could find my way without such leadership.
Sweet Gummi Mary! There went my bathroom time, my Googling for a mini-fridge time, my bill-writing to Sirius XM time, my checkbook-balancing time, my DVD-loading time, and my shoe-changing time.
People are taking advantage of my good nature.