What your teacher is really thinking…

Today was my first day back at work after my (unfortunately late) Spring Break, and you can feel that there’s only a few weeks left in the school year. Students and teachers alike are struggling with that sensation that the end of the year is rapidly approaching, and students and teachers alike are finding it hard to concentrate.

So today, as a special little secret just between you and me, I’m going to tell you what your teacher is really thinking in those “down” moments. At those times when you, as a student, are taking a test, or writing an entry in your classroom journal, or doing virtually anything else that doesn’t require any immediate action from the teacher beyond monitoring the room and making sure nothing catches on fire.

It varies from person to person, of course, because contrary to what many students will have you believe, teachers are organic human beings with different wants, desires, needs, and personalities, and not just mindless automatons that synch up their brains to the schoolboard mainframe and curl up under their desks from 2:30 in the afternoon until 7 o’clock the following morning. So this is the thought process of a purely hypothetical teacher… say ninth grade… English… tired… on the day of a test.

Okay, test papers are handed out. Told thirteen different kids today’s date, which is written on the board in the same place it has been since August. Gave pencils to five of them. Okay, so now I just walk around to make sure nobody is cheating or– oh, geez, Cindy’s hand is up. She’s going to ask me a question that any reasonable human being could find the answer to without a bit of help. Yes, Cindy, today is the third. Yes, write it where it says “date.” Yes, answer all of the questions. Okay, sixty minutes left until the test period is over.

Let’s see, once I’ve got this test graded I’ll have four test grades for the marking period, which means I just need two more to do an average for the class. That’s a relief, I was worried for a while there I wouldn’t be able to fit enough tests in. The kids complain about too many tests, but they should know we don’t actually have any control over that. We don’t have control over a lot of things. The mold, for instance. How many times now have I asked for someone to change that ceiling tile? I didn’t think any of those colors could be found in nature. The kids complain to me as if I can do anything about it. I don’t know where the extra tiles are, and even if I did

What? No, Cindy, “Montague” is spelled correctly. Yes, I’m sure. No, I can’t tell you if the Montagues are Romeo’s family or Juliet’s. This is a test, you should know by now.

Where was I? Oh, right, theceiling. I wonder what they would say if I just took the tile off and left a hole in the ceiling. And then put a cat up there. Heh. “Ceiling cat is watching you matriculate.” Yeah, that’d be funny. Then I would spend the rest of the semester explaining that joke to people. Maybe not.

I wonder what the rest of the guys are doing this weekend. The Losers is opening this weekend,  I wonder if everyone else would want to see that. Can’t really talk about that with the kids, they’d start using it to insult each other. Or me. Not that I particularly care, but once one of ’em starts it’s like a chain reaction, and they still won’t let me have a taser. If they could spend five minutes in this class–

No, Tony, I didn’t see the wrestling match last night. Which has nothing to do with Romeo and Juliet, so please be quiet and get back to work.

What was I thinking?

I forget.

Mahna Mahna! Doot dooooo-do-dooo-doot!Mahna Mahna! Doot dooo-deet-doot!

That was a great episode of Lost last night. I nearly plotzed when they started playing that Willy Wonka music in the end credits. That guy who was talking about a Lost/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory connection on the internet is an absolute genius. I’m gonna have to remember to blog about that when I get home.

Huh. Chad got number fifteen right. Good for him, that was a tough one. Maybe it’s finally sinking in that he can’t pass this class if he doesn’t start studying.

Cindy’s been on number twelve for a long time now. She’s just staring at it. Now she’s looking up. Now she — OH MY GOD SHE SAW ME DON’T LOOK DON’T LOOK DON’T LOOK IF YOU DON’T LOOK IT IN THE EYE IT HAS NO POWER OVER YOU AND aaaaaaw, crap, her hand is up.

No, Cindy, I promise you, one of those four answers is correct. Because I wrote the question, that’s how. No, I can’t tell you what that word means, this is a test. Use your context clues. Context clues. CON-TEXT.

Joel is already finished? He must have skipped the essay questions again. when are these kids going to realize that’s twenty percent of the test right there? That means if they get more than five multiple choice or three of the short answer wrong, they automatically fail. It’s simple math. I think it’s simple. Oh geez, what if I got the point values on the test wrong again? Okay, no big deal. Let’s just nonchalantly mosey on over to my desk so I can look at a copy… part one worth 60 points… part two worth 20 points… essay questions worth 20 points. Six… two… two… yeah, that adds up to a hundred. Okay, the point values are right.

I know these guys don’t like Shakespeare, but that’s fine. I didn’t really start to appreciate him until college. Maybe if I could show them some videos besides just the film of Romeo and Juliet. The Reduced Shakespeare Company, for instance. Or that episode of Doctor Who where he met Shakespeare.

The new season of Doctor Who has been awesome. I didn’t think Matt Smith could match David Tennant, but he’s been great. And he and Karen Gillan have great chemistry together.

Karen Gillan is hot. There, I said it. We were all thinking it, someone had to say it.

Oh geez, Cindy put your hand down. You know I can’t answer questions like that during a te–


Oh. Okay. Here’s the bathroom pass. Sorry about that.


Fifty-two minutes and seventeen seconds left.



Karen Gillan is hot.



5 Responses to “What your teacher is really thinking…”

  1. 1 Well met
    May 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    How much control over your teaching methods do you have? Are you in the sort of situation where you have to teach the test, or is there some autonomy?

  2. May 4, 2010 at 12:06 am

    This is hilarious! I showed it to my English teacher during our study period and she was in fits of laughter. She even brought in a couple of the other teachers to see it XD

  3. 3 liz
    May 4, 2010 at 2:25 am

    wow that was hilarious stumbled on to this and i’m e-mailing it to my english high school teachers and professors who probably don’t remember me

  4. 4 Erin
    May 4, 2010 at 10:09 am

    All of that thinking and none of me.

    that karen chick can kiss my butt

  5. May 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks, everyone! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Erin, sweetheart, remember that this wasn’t me. This was a purely hypothetical ninth-grade English teacher who happens to be a fan of Doctor Who. I don’t even teach any kids named “Cindy.”

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