Guest Post: The Life of an American Teacher

As always, the opinion of American Teacher are not mine, but are posted to stimulate discussion.

It took me just six months to realize that students have no interest in Sophocles or Beowulf. They don’t know who Epictetus, Montesquieu, and Locke were; and moreover, they do not care.  They are not driven to learn.  Education begins not with teachers, not with schools, but with desire, insatiable desire.  The generation that will replace us lacks desire.  The secret to their hearts is apathy.

This total absence of desire was crystallized one afternoon many years ago when I was helping a student with his paper.  I turned to look at the boy to make sure he understood.  He wasn’t looking at the paper.  He had not been listening.  He had been looking at the back of my head.  I stared at this shining example of apathy.  “Can I go pee?” he finally asked.  I nodded.  The past six months became clear.  I realized then that none of my students were fired up and that it was beyond my capacity, indeed any teacher’s capacity, to fire them up.  Any warm, fuzzy illusions that I still harbored about teaching teenagers were swept away.

That students found no interest in learning did not make me inconsolable.  Students taught me and I learned from them.  I learned to be deeply practical.  I learned to separate my job from my life.  I learned to swallow my saliva and withhold comments.  I learned that rules do not apply.  I learned to shape my own destiny and I came to believe that everyone, including students, shapes their destinies.  How burdened would I be had I not been such a quick learner.

I make a handsome living.  What with health benefits and life insurance, I make well over six figures.  I pay less than $50 a month for health insurance.

By contract, teachers work 185 days a year.  The reality is a lot less.  There are the sick days and personal days.  I take all of them.  Mid-term week and finals week, just sit there.  All the other testing days, whether mandated by the state or given by the teacher.  Field trips.

Movies.  Guest speakers.  Half days.  Snow days.  Delays due to weather.  Evacuations due to threats.  Assemblies.  Goof-off days like the last day of school and the day before Christmas break.  The list seems endless.

I have evolved techniques to get through the rest of the year.  Technology is my friend.  My classes spend Mondays in the computer lab doing “research.”  Some weeks, we need to do more research.

The Scantron machine is also a friend. After collecting the tests, I run them through the machine.  I don’t think that I’ve graded a test in years.  Ditto for papers.  I found a computer program that grades them for me.

I celebrate everyone’s birthday.  Cupcakes are cheap.  And they’re tax deductible.

It’s wonderful to have good friends.  One of my friends is an assistant principal, who makes out my schedule every year.  Every teacher has a duty, such as a study hall.  My duty is to help the assistant principal.  I go out and get coffee, breakfast, whatever she needs.  We sit and eat, gossip while she qvc shops.

I found myself discovering all sorts of little freedoms.  I use my prep period to run errands, go to the bank, pay bills, get some shopping done.  Sometimes, I go home and let the dog out.  Unless it is pouring outside, I take care of me during my prep.

I became sly and wily. I park my car in back of the school behind a dumpster.  Being able to sneak in late and sneak out early is worth the awful smell.  I shirk every responsibility that I possibly can.  Only if it is absolutely necessary and I need a spawn of Satan kicked permanently out of my room do I write a report.

What could be easier than all this?

I do this because it does not matter.  I could stay at school until ten o’clock every night, designing lessons and correcting papers and nothing would change because at some point, at the end of some very long day, it is up to students.  My students were a bad influence on me.  They have dragged me to their depth.  They and the parents, administrators, education professors, and politicians who abet them are the villains of this tragedy.

Listening to their vulgar, slang-filled conversations, I look at my students as a form of entertainment.  I hear about everything in their lives, from acts of physical intimacy to bowel movements.  At sixteen and seventeen-years old, their slates are still blank.  I do not believe that they have been endowed with complex brains.  There are students who sit in class, staring straight ahead, doing absolutely nothing.  I used to think that they were thinking deep thoughts.  Now I realize they think about nothing at all.  They are like old men in wheelchairs that you see in nursing homes.  One day I expect to see someone drool.  Their frontal cortex, that part of the brain which runs short-term memory, motivation, and attention, seems severely stunted.  I am convinced that our closest genetic cousins, the chimpanzees, are more mentally active than these kids.  Sometimes I give them little art projects where they can color.  Based upon my experiences in the classroom, I am no longer sure that I know human beings when I see them.  The ones that I don’t like I largely ignore.

I learned this all in just half a year.  The outrage at student apathy vanished.  I stopped trying to fix people and became happy in my impotence.  I’m just a teacher in a classroom.  If students do not see that education is in some sense a matter of survival, then I cannot make them see it.  It’s not my job to save people’s lives.  I am not a venal person.  I am a realistic one.

All of my teacher friends are like me, but not all teachers are like me.  There’s one teacher who constantly says to her students, “Thank you for the gift of you.”  You’ll never hear me say that.  Another one crouches besides her students as she talks to them. It’s not a pretty sight.  You’ll never see me do that.  Then there was the teacher running after the student who was walking briskly away from her: “Please, let me help you,” she beseeched the girl.  You will never see me plead with a student.  There was also the teacher who said to me, “While we’re here, we’re everyone’s mom and dad.”  I’ve never had a thought remotely like that.

Some teachers get genuinely upset at snow days or two-hour days.  “I have to get through the curriculum,” they gripe.  The only thing that perturbs me is having to make up a day in June.  I love delays.  “Twenty-minute classes are my kind of day,” I think.  We don’t have to make those up.

I recognize that my apathetic students are casualties of failed parenting and pedagogical practices.  When everything is handed to them, from food to study guides, students cannot be induced to work.  The more they are provided for and the more indulged they are, the more lazy they become.  Socialist-inspired handouts have killed desire in students.  Now, they don’t care.  So I don’t care either.  No one can be as invested in his education as the student himself.  My classroom just holds a collection of bodies.  Dedication is unnecessary when you are working with kids who don’t give a damn.

148 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Life of an American Teacher

  1. “Psychologist Karl Groos used this phrase, and it always struck me, “the pleasure of being a cause.” When children first realize that when they knock something over, they can do it again in the same way and it will have the same result, there is a kind of pure joy and happiness. This becomes the basis of your sense of agency and sense of self for the rest of your life.

    When you deprive children of that agency, they almost feel catatonic. That shows we are creatures who need projects of transforming the world around us. If we can’t do that, we hardly exist.”

      • I have no doubt about that, AT.

        To me, that’s where purpose must be centered.

        Lose your center, then you’re lost.

  2. School is not really for education, in a way. It’s a holding system to keep a large amount of people out of the work force for a certain time. If you do learn something in classes that is a side benefit but as a student you have to deal with fellow students who don’t want to be there, and teachers from the uninspired to those who do change your outlook, or direction in life.
    Once I read Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt, I stopped feeling it was my fault for not being able to enjoy my job. It was a whole system that was behind this, and more recently I have believed that meritocracy is a myth..,

    “The hidden root of much career dissatisfaction, argues Schmidt, is the professional’s lack of control over the political component of his or her creative work. Many professionals set out to make a contribution to society and add meaning to their lives. Yet our system of professional education and employment abusively inculcates an acceptance of politically subordinate roles in which professionals typically do not make a significant difference, undermining the creative potential of individuals, organizations and even democracy.

    Schmidt details the battle one must fight to be an independent thinker and to pursue one’s own social vision in today’s corporate society.”

    • @No

      Teachers do not have a place at the table. The district is run top-down, like some sort of medieval fiefdom. Teachers are the serfs.
      We have little say over how our workplace is run. All we can do is sabotage it.

      Until labor reinvigorated itself, this situation will not change.

      I will look up the Schmidt.

      • @No

        Look, a lot of people slack at work. If I were a junior advertising executive and wrote about slacking, I would be cheered on by people on this blog.

        In certain fields, teaching, nursing, which are traditionally dominated by women, anything less than 100% is unacceptable.

        The truth is that there are more teachers who burn out or who slack than are superheroes as in Freedom Riders. Statisics show that teachers entering the profession today leave after three years. Note that that teacher in Freedom Riders lost her personal life to do her job.

        You will find honesty in the kids. They are completely candid about how terrible they are. They know something is off and perhaps when they point to the adults who raised them, they have an argument.

        But I did not raise them. No one can love their son or daughter like a parent can. A classroom, particularly at the high school level, is a temporary community. And I am not going to battle with parents and administrators who choose to side with kids over adults.

        Who said you get the president or prime minister you elect? Well, you also get the teacher you choose not to support.

      • Read Schmidt by all means, AT.

        You seem stranded (in a way) where you are, and this book will possibly give you a different and empowering perspective on your situation.

        You are a friend of Ted and so I believe there is a mensch in you that wants to get out.

      • @Glenn

        Alas, my chains are golden.

        Unmotivated teachers are a problem in the public schools. Lack of motivation is not subject to discipline. There is not much a superior can do about it, except clean house and bring in new people who will become unmotivated.

    • Re: Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt

      Great book.

      I gave it to my son when he was in his early teens. It opened his eyes to the way the American “meritocracy” really works.

      I didn’t want him to be distracted by the self-promoting assholes who really don’t give a damn about him, and the making of his way in the world.

      My advice to him was was that getting good grades and learning were separate endeavors and poorly correlated.

      • @Glenn

        Getting good grades and learning are almost entirely disconnected.

        I would argue that grades are based on what teacher you get and how they approach the class. The accomplished student can figure out what the teacher wants and give it to them.

        Several years ago I took a microbiology course for enrichment. The tests were all multiple choice and demanded pinpoint accuracy. I was used to essays and short answers. Invariably, the question came down to two choices and I would choose the wrong one.

        I could see it both ways. That I really had not mastered the material or that I was not good at this particular type of test.

      • I hate multiple choice questions.

        I inevitably find I need another choice that the test designer hadn’t thought of.

        My wife told me about a multiple choice test where she had to (explicitly per instructions) pick the LEAST WRONG answer in order to get it marked correct.

      • @Glenn

        Ye gods. I would have failed

        Does hard work and study determine your grade or the type of test your teachers gives?

        I look down my hall where every teacher is so different in grading that the exercise becomes meaningless

  3. “How do Asian parents make their kids so smart they outperform their western peers? Amy Chua, with her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother blew us all away with her formula. Her kids weren’t allowed to have sleepovers, play dates or watch TV, she said. They weren’t allowed to choose their own extracurricular activities or play computer games. They were told to achieve nothing less than a grade A, and to choose either the piano or violin – and practice until their fingers fell off.

    And it wasn’t just Chinese parents, she said. Indians, Koreans, Vietnamese, Pakistanis, they all had the same mindset.

    International studies show children from Asian backgrounds do indeed consistently outperform their western peers, and cultural background is a significant factor. An Australian study by Monash university academics says: “Anglo-celtic Australian parents seem to put less emphasis on academic achievement while having more flexible expectations when compared to Chinese or Vietnamese Australian parents”. In Britain government figures show black and Asian school-leavers are more likely to go to university than their white peers.

    For Asians, migrants or not, the sight, experience or memory of poverty is a powerful motivational factor. A good education is a passport out of poverty through upward social mobility. It is a passport out of a life of hard physical labour. It is a passport out of servitude. Ultimately, it’s a passport to a life better than the one lived by your parents.

    So when children, naturally, complain about doing their homework, or the amount of time they have to spend practicing the piano, or the tedium of learning their times tables, they are quickly slapped down (metaphorically) and told to “study hard”. Parents, in all their wisdom, know that their children’s suffering today is nothing compared to their suffering tomorrow if they don’t achieve success through education.

    Asian cultural values are not simply about a harsh and uncompromising parenting style, they are about inculcating children to be aware of the need for a good education. Asians don’t worry too much about their kids’ complaints today, for they play the long game.”

    So in case you’re like me, wracked with doubt about whether you’re a bad teacher, I’ve identified five key tendencies that I’ve observed in the classrooms of truly bad teachers. Take this short quiz and at the end I will tell you if you’re a bad teacher.

    1. Do you dislike children? I don’t mean that you love every single one of your students every day. I mean, do children in the age group you’re teaching generally fail to delight you in any way? The number one quality I’ve observed in bad teachers is that they do not seem to like children very much. In high schools, this means they do not seem to find teenagers charming, funny or interesting—ever.

    2. Do you find your subject matter dull? If asked “why are you teaching this?” will you respond “because it will be on the test”? Do your eyes glaze over at the thought of your subject area? Every teacher has dud lessons from time to time (believe me) but what I sense in the classrooms of bad teachers is that they have no interest in their entire subject.

    3. Do you know what you’re talking about? I recently sat in on the class of a teacher who was teaching students incorrect grammar. Actually teaching it—she’d put an incorrect rule on a slide and then was forcing her students to rewrite sentences in order to conform to this incorrect rule. It was especially upsetting because several students were shyly raising their hands and going “Miss…are you sure? That sounds wrong.”

    4. Do you ignore a large subset of your students most of the time? The truly bad teachers I’ve observed tend to engage only with a small number of very compliant, eager students, ignoring the rest except to reprimand troublemakers.

    5. Are you totally disengaged? I don’t mean those bad days when you want to flush your head—or someone’s head—in the toilet, or even those days that you’re so burned out you can hardly keep going. I mean have you checked out emotionally as an operating philosophy, day in and day out? A central quality in truly bad teachers is that they seem to have stopped caring; this lack of engagement is reflected not only in their interactions with students (or lack thereof) but in their seemingly random choice of lesson topics.

    So are you a bad teacher? No. How do I know? Because if you’ve read this far, you care. You may not be great (yet). The inspirational movie of your life may be set several years hence. It may be that you have a tremendous amount still to learn. But you’re not a bad teacher. Because the overriding quality of truly bad teachers, as Azucena Gonzales observed, is that they have given up. And you haven’t.

    • « Asian cultural values are not simply about a harsh and uncompromising parenting style, they are about inculcating children to be aware of the need for a good education.» One wonders with how many «Asian parents» «EvilWizardGlick» has known. «[H]arsh and uncompromising parenting style», indeed ! Perhaps the person concealing her/himself behind this pseudonym would be advised to consider amending it to «StupidWizardGlick», but alas, I doubt that doing so would dampen her/his compulsion to comment on matters on which s/he hasn’t a clue….

      But what can one expect of a person with an IQ of 50….


      • @EWG

        I am a realistic man and teaching is a dangerous job. If you engage with students you engage with a powerful enemy. You will be defeated. Withdrawal is the only option.

      • @Henri

        Insufferable bore
        Pompous ass
        Leave my boy the Evil Wizard alone

    • @EWG

      I am a realistic man and teaching is a dangerous job. If you engage with students you engage with a powerful enemy. You will be defeated. Withdrawal is the only option.

  4. This piece lays out how a person comes to disengage passively from a system. The art of subtly disengaging is ingeniously pursued in meticulous detail and seems to be the only source of agency the person experiences.

    As CH and others have mentioned, the irony is sadly lost on “American Teacher”: did it never occur to him/her* that students – who have even less power and make even less money than a lowly teacher – are simply engaging in the exact same tactics?

    And, more importantly, how about trying to engage with students on a personal level to get out of this mess? As the memorable teachers in our own lives as students have surely done – who kindled the desire of reading Beowolf in AT before he/she was sadly corrupted by the system?

    [*I notice I have a hard time imagining AT as female. Clearly I’m not immune from everyday sexism…]

    The art of not being governed is a venerable area of study in the social science of the underdogs. I recommend James Scott (e.g. his Three Cheers for Anarchism) and anything by Colin Ward who is writing directly on the subject of education. Working class boy grows under the thumb of first his father (and priest), then his teacher (and priest), then his drill sergeant (and priest), finally his employer (and priest)… traditionally ownership of girls is transferred from parents to husband and in-laws through the marriage ceremony. That sort of thing.

    Passive resistance ranges from doing a half-assed job (see target article) to outright desertion (a safer if less principled path than making an honorable stand, e.g. against the LAT 😉 ).

    • @Andreas

      Finally, some one who understands, at least in part.

      You do err when you say students have less power than teachers. Students are running the joint.

      It is too dangerous to engage with students. They look to get their teachers either fired or disciplined. They are treacherous. Going after teachers is a blood sport. I keep my engagements to a minimum.
      I will read the works you recommend.
      As for principles, I can’t afford them. They are too expensive.

      • You do err when you say students have less power than teachers. Students are running the joint.

        Clearly it’s impossible to do much of anything facing down 30 students in a room if those students withdraw their co-operation. Perhaps this in itself is one of the big life-lesson taught by a failing system.

        This is merely the other side of the coin: what can students do that has any value when supervised by a teacher who has given up on them?

        I invite you to look at how places feel where nobody is telling young people what to do: from backyard parties to music jam sessions to people hanging out even if it’s in shitty places.

        Then compare to how they are behaving at your school.

        Finally, split the difference 1) between the moments they are benefiting from the life experience of their elders or where they are gifted a prepared space to explore and grow and 2) when they are reduced to stall for time just like you are doing.

        Also, please remember the most important things you learned coming of age and then explore what the role of teachers was regarding them, if any.

    • “before he/she was sadly corrupted by the system?”

      You are kidding right?
      In your world the individual is so weak and malleable they are ground into corruption?
      You have prisoners sentenced to death row who are later found innocent that aren’t that weak. Those tend to be poor, low iq, ugly, minorities.
      If they can be so strong, why can’t the six figure teacher?

      • @EvilWizardGlick

        Maybe the low IQ don’t recognize the danger in which they find themselves. Ricky Ray Rector saved his piece of pie because he thought he would return from the electric chair.

        American Teacher is smart and strong.

      • Read the target article. It is clearly written by an intelligent person who somehow ended up using his/her intimate insider knowledge to devise minute tactics to escape the institution a few minutes earlier each day.

        I don’t think this is why anyone chooses to become a teacher in the first place? There does not seem to be any spirit left in AT who even calls his students the enemy. What else would one call this but lamentable corruption?

        In alternative education we have a saying: not the children are failing – it is the (school) system which is failing the children.

        Clearly the school system also failed AT.

        And it seems that by giving up on students, AT internalized that failing which is the part that saddens me the most.

        I usually adore passive resistance tactics – but sadly AT’s tactics are not aimed to benefit any person nor idea beyond finding the path of least resistance to merely sit out the time on the job. All I can see in AT’s report is sadness.

      • @Andreas

        You seem like a very thoughtful and kind person.

        As I stated in the beginning of the article, learning begins with desire. I have no wish to change. I am fed up and have been screwed over too many times.

        I have a very deep mental block at being asked yet again to understand these monsters; I am, however, very grateful that someone seems to understand me.

        If I could find more tactics to escape the institution, I would. The only thing less that I could do than I am doing right now is to go out on disability leave by throwing myself down the stairs. But it is very hard to inflict pain on oneself and disability leave would mean a pay cut. So I will seek more ways to withdraw.

    • @A5 – I often describe myself as a ‘rational anarchist’ – (and I suspect you recognize the reference.)

      To wit: I don’t need rules to live my life peaceably with others. Other people seem to need rules, okay, tell me what they are and I will follow them or not as I see fit.

      • #CH

        You cannot have the social order without the state; civilization depends on a complex bureaucracy. That is like saying you can have students without teachers.

        If you want to forage and hunt so be it. I prefer a warm room with a bath and a bottle of bonded bourbon on the dresser.

      • > You cannot have the social order without the state

        No, you cannot have “the social order” without the state. That’s kinda the whole point.

        Supporting the *infrastructure* might very well need a bureaucracy (or a supercomputer) … but that’s a discussion for another day.

        Reading assignment:
        “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”
        — R. A. Heinlein

      • @CH

        Only barbarians can evade state control.

        You want to decivilize, do want you want, dragging us all back thousands of years with you, while you enjoy civilization’s food and medicine.

        I picked up Heinlein’s novel years ago where, if I recall, women were engaging in state-sanctioned slutty behavior. I had to put it down. And you talk about me corrupting young minds. I wanted to retch.

      • You cannot have the social order without the state; civilization depends on a complex bureaucracy. That is like saying you can have students without teachers.

        How do you know? 😉

        I used to think like this almost per default. Then I directly experienced the complete opposite.

        I always found the ideas about non-hierarchy, democratic education, etc. intriguing – but those ideas didn’t convince me one bit, practice did.

        But practice is hard to share – unless with engaging in more practice.

        Students without teachers is a good summary of all the educational “theory” that I find alive – having taught courses myself. At the extreme end you will find schools which are based entirely on this principle: i.e. in democratic schools following the Sudbury valley model teachers are available as resources for students engage with entirely under their own initiative.

        Freed from from students who would rather not be around you, from predefined learning outcomes, grading, etc – what do you think you might achieve as a teacher?

      • @coach – just to start with, there is/was/will be no state in Luna. It was, in fact, a near-perfect libertarian society. The struggle represented is one of *forming* the Luna Free *State*

        Yes, with a ratio of approximately 10 men per women, women were free to have as many – or as few – lovers as they wanted. But again, this was *society* not *state.*

        I’m afraid it’s your attitude towards women which represents a giant step backwards. And of course, you’re use of the word “slutty” reveals your insecurity concerning women. In Luna, you would have either adapt or get thrown out the airlock.

        So you don’t like socialism, even though you make your living mooching off a socialized institution, you evidently don’t like libertarianism, and you would criticize the concept of ‘rational anarchy’ without having a clue what I was talking about.

      • Please excuse multiple typos in the post above. My browser went nuts before I was ready to post.

        That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. 🙂

        To conclude, Coach – I’m always happy to discuss socioeconomics, but you need to do your homework first.

      • CH

        So the novel is science fiction. I like to read works of fantasy, too.

        The modern state cannot be reversed. It can only be subverted, the way that I am doing. In fact, what I am up to may be the only way to reach the goals that you envision.

        A woman with more than one man, ever, is the definition of slut. I would never ask this of my wife, of course, but I’ve secretly admired the Indian custom of suttee. I’m not insecure, just an eminently moral man. There’s never been a hint of scandal about my wife.

        If you have read my comments carefully, you would remember that I said capitalism should be heavily socialized and that I cannot break my chains. They are golden.

  5. Dear Fans of Ted,

    American Teacher would love to go public, but then I would lose my goof-off job and six-figure salary.

    My pieces are a form of therapy for me. Please don’t take away the only lifeline I have.

    • I mean, I presume there commenters here who actually donate hard cash to Ted. For him to foist this aggravation upon us in the first place, let alone people going out of their way to financially support Ted, is pretty lame. Obviously, the number of generated comments have something to do with it. Maybe regulars like Henri, Crazy H, derleher, etc. should make a pact to not comment on these posts?

      • @Henri, Crazy H, Der Lehrer,

        Don’t you dare make any pacts.

        I need the attention.

      • @HenryWallaces…

        We haven’t have a RWNJ here to play with for a while. Without it, I’d have to go troll Stormfront (again)

        Ted’s up front about his intentions, he’s stimulating discussion. Nobody is being forced to read either the articles or the comments. I suspect the alleged teacher called Ted on his word about censorship, and was surprised when he gave him a soapbox. (“enough rope”? – eventually somebody will dox it, the articles will wind up in the hands of it’s children’s parents and it will have to find gainful employment that doesn’t involve corrupting young minds.)

        Yes, I support Ted through Patreon. You’re making use of his forum – are you supporting it in any way?

      • “Maybe regulars like Henri, Crazy H, derleher [sic], etc….”
        I ceased being a “regular” when I realized the futility of the back-and-forth that most often prevails on this site, with some folks posting for their own selfish aggrandizement with no intent to edify others, and when I recognized that my time could be more fruitfully spent on Facebook memes and consequent political commentary on that site.

        As a former educator, I had to have my say in the matter presented here, however, for I recognized the writer as illustrative of the reason that education has failed our nation, all the while blaming others for its failure. I need not go into detail; it is easily identified in the presentation itself. This is no “American Teacher” — on the contrary, this is a failure to the profession and to itself.

        Perhaps Betsy DeVos might be interested in hiring this individual for a “six-figure” income. Who knows? The malcontent might actually feel more at home in such an environment.

      • @derlehrer – you are missed, but I can certainly understand your reasoning. (Although I would warn you away from FB.)

        Some discussions do take multiple responses as new information is revealed – but on the whole I try to avoid the endless slappy-fights (nowadays. 😉 You sat in on the last one, if that led directly to your exit, then I am thoroughly ashamed.

        Glad to hear you’re still kicking,

      • @CrazyH –

        Thanks for that.

        I really don’t remember the “slappy-fight” you mention, but one particular individual’s nonsensical verbosity and lack of adherence to topic forced me to take a long hard look at the lack of benefit realized from spending so much time on this site. I decided to avoid the discussions from that point forward, although I keep up with Ted’s contributions both here and on GoComics.

        With regard to Facebook, I have been a member since November of 2008. My posts are public and available to everyone. I don’t fear that my information will be stolen, because I don’t surrender anything that might be used against me. I don’t play their online games and I don’t accept apps that allow access to my profile and contact list by third parties. Hell, the CIA and FBI have more than likely been storing details on my wife and me since we marched against the invasion of Iraq years ago in Little Rock. How much worse can Facebook be?

      • @CH

        Don’t call me “it.” Call me “Coach.”

        And don’t leave me for Stormfront.

        I am a teacher, licensed, certified, kid-tested, mom-approved.

      • @derlehrer et al

        I’m glad that Ted has created a space for me here. I feel a part of this community now. We’re all in this together. Please don’t marginalize me. I need to feel safe and supported.

        Your conception of failure is different from mine. Some people are meant to work, some to slack.

        I don’t know about you, but I work really hard at being uninvolved. I can’t think of one kid to whom I feel connected, unless, of course, they are on my team. Nothing keeps me up at night.

        My mantra is “do nothing.” How powerful is that?

      • «Maybe regulars like Henri, Crazy H, derleher, etc. should make a pact to not comment on these posts?» I fear «regulars», here, HenryWallacesForceGhost, not least the persons you mention above, are unlikely to make any pacts among themselves, as significant differences, not merely as to political opinions (such differences are, after all, what makes discussion possible and sometimes, fruitful), but to the lengths one can be permitted to go in characterising one another or their family members on a public forum….

        There is no doubt that the person cowering behind the mischosen pseudonym «American Teacher» is a troll ; the question is thus how one should deal with trolls on fora like the present. Many feel that trolls should not be fed ; while admitting to some sympathy for that point of view, I feel it risks allowing them to completely dominate a forum, thus rendering it useless as a venue for discussion. The sad conclusion is that there is no good way to deal with trolls, but that we must nonetheless deal with them, with the tools, however inadequate,s at our disposal….


      • @Henri

        There is nothing more pathetic than someone begging, but just don’t leave me, Henri.

  6. Just like Marx said, “From each according to his ability to complain, to each according to his need to be an idle sophist.”

  7. Errrr. Ugh.

    The alarm just went off. These five day weeks are killers.

    I always save sick days for May and June when the weather is nice. I think I’ll call out today.

  8. This article was not written by an “American Teacher”!

    It was written by a “Generic Misanthrope”!

    Boo-hoo-hoo! My students (parents, administrators, et cetera, ad infinitum) are to blame that I cannot meet the standards of a professional educator and have become the failure you see before you now!

    What a loser. It should perhaps find a job of manual labor or in sales or as a Walmart greeter, where the challenges are not so overwhelming.(Maybe prostitution? That’s what it’s occupied with at present anyhow.)

    • Greetings, derlehrer!

      It didn’t take me long to figure out that it wasn’t the same lehrer who’s been contributing to this forum for so long.

      I do fear it hails from the same state, you have my sympathy for that.

    • Oh, look at this, a new person on my threads.

      Judging from the nickname and the picture, this is a retired teacher.

      I’m not ashamed to be called a misanthrope. You’d be a misanthrope, too, if you were in my classroom at my school.

      I see myself as quite the success. If the goal of the beaten-down proletariat is to squirm from under his labors, I’m the one making the profit.

      If I could make six figures as a greeter, not at Walmart, but at an upscale retail store such as Lord and Taylor’s, I would like that. Less work. I wouldnt have to take attendance or put a movie in a machine. Manual labor, sales, or prostitution, I might actually have to work. That’s not a good idea after the life I’ve been leading.

      • > I would like that [job]. Less work.

        Let’s see now … 185 days a year … arriving late and leaving early … slacking whenever possible … I make it 725 hours a year where most of us work more like 2 to 3000.

        Okay, I understand. I would hate to have a job as bad as yours … but could you please explain why you are so opposed to socialism?

      • @CH

        That’s an easy one, CH.

        This, this system, this malaministration, this apathy, isn’t goid for the country. It is not sustainable.

        I’m not a capitalist either.

        Capitalism should be heavily socialized.

      • Maladministration. Is not good for the country

        Ye gods, my eyes!

    • Nailed it, mein verehrter Lehrer ! Glad to see you back here, not least as a real teacher from the United States, as opposed to a odius agent provocaterur pretending to be….


  9. «Not bad for a football coach, huh?» Indeed. Perhaps Mr Pope had (US-style) football coaches in my mind when he opined on a little learning ?… 😉


    • «And you’re still fantasizing while avoiding my questions.» You, my dear, «American Teacher» are projecting your fantasies, fears, and desires on others, in this particular case, your humble interlocutor. But given your abilities, it would be unfair to expect you to have found more mature psychological defences, so you will have to continue to make do with what you have…. 😉



    • «Go watch a ball game» As noted above, my dear «American Teacher», you will have to continue to make do with the little you have… 😉



      • @Henri

        I just woke up. I have to run some laps and then lift. But okay, Henri, I’ll play.

        You don’t take social cues, due you? “Seriously? Go watch a ball game” means the conversation is over.

        Morgellons Disease?
        A combination?

        What’s your deal?

        I’m beginning to suspect you’re a teenager taking AP Psych, smoking weed, and living in your parents’ basement. You’re certainly not a grown-ass man

      • «You don’t take social cues, due you? “Seriously? Go watch a ball game” means the conversation is over.» But my dear fatuous «American Teacher», the «conversation» (if that term is indeed apt when a troll like yourself is one of the participating parties) is hardly the case ; you did feel yourself compelled to respond, did you not ?…

        Please do «run some laps and then lift [your lard arse ?]» – and then bow to the obsessive compulsive disorder from which you obviously suffer ; I can promise you a reply…. 😉



      • @Henri

        Just got out of the weight room where I press more than I weigh. At 6’4″, I carry my three hundred plus pounds well. If you weighed in at three hundred, I suspect you’d be on a scooter.

        Don’t you mean you’re compelled? I am addicting.

        My biceps pop out of my shirt. And I don’t use cologne. My natural scent drives women wild.

        And apparently I’m driving you wild, too.

      • «Just got out of the weight room where I press more than I weigh.» A self-proclaimed weightlifter who doesn’t seem to know the difference between «press» and «bench press». What a fraud you are, my dear «American Teacher» – but that has been obvious to most of us all along….



      • @Henri

        There you go again, quibbling about semantic differences.

        I’m trying to picture what you look like.

        Clearly, you are vain as you treat people with disdain, but I bet you don’t groom. And that your scalp is crusty. You left your body behind tears ago.

        Ugliness is just lack of care, Henri. Once you start grooming, you’ll stop needing me.

      • «I’m trying to picture what you look like.» I understand your needs, my dear «American Teacher», but alas, your aspirations are misdirected. perhaps if you lost a some weight – and a great deal of bullshit – you would be able find romantic objects a bit nearer to your place of residence…. 😉

        Worth at least a try – even if, given the personality you’ve revealed in your posts to these threads, hopes would seem dim….


      • @Henri

        Okay, Henri, I’m taking a break from you for the rest of the day. Now be a good boy and go play with your x box.

      • «Okay, Henri, I’m taking a break from you for the rest of the day.» Let us hope you manage to make it through the day without further confirmation of your immense importance in the scheme of things, my dear «American Teacher» ; not an easy task for an ego as subsolid as yours seems to be. But not to worry – in the event you can’t make it without your fix, I’ll be here to respond to your inanities…. 😉



  10. @Coach –

    You’ve implied that you are operating under some rules which limit your responses. Could you expand on that?

    My guess is that your agreement with Ted is that you’ll talk nice if you wish to use his site as your soapbox.

      • «American Teacher is slowly coming off the leash» That strikes me as an unwise move on the part of your owner, but let us at least hope that when you are taken for walks, he or she will continue to put your faeces in a little bag and deposit in a receptacle designed for that purpose….


      • I realise that vast as is your ignorance, you are unfamiliar with Ted’s commentary threads, «American Teacher», but while he does not often comment, the evidence suggest that he does read the comments posted here. If he wishes to tell us more, I presume he will….


  11. “I shirk every responsibility that I possibly can”

    … while simultaneously denigrating your students for doing the same thing.

    Vocabulary word for the day: “Hypocrisy”

    But you are teaching your students: you’re teaching them that they can slack off and still make a six-figure salary. That neither honesty or a work ethic are necessary elements for success. You teach the chosen few who make the team that running and throwing are viable career options, thereby setting them up for failure when they reach adulthood.

    In the world of Makers and Takers, you are a taker, feeding at the public trough while returning nothing. No, that’s not true either – you are actively damaging the next generation.

    • “That neither honesty or a work ethic are necessary elements for success.”

      I was watching some Finnish film. The main characters GF wanted a new tv.
      So he sets off on an odyssey to EARN ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY A TV!
      Never a mention of STEALING one as we would in the US. Not peddling drugs.
      But actual physical labor.
      Similar to Booty Call where the Black men spend the night SEARCHING FOR A CONDOM because the woman will not have sex without one.

    • @CH
      American Teacher has been nothing but honest.

      Students have degraded me; aided by parents and administrators, students have dragged me to their miserable level.

      No, students have taught me that I have to slack off if I want to continue to be employed at six figures.

      Since when have honesty and a work ethic ever been the elements of success? People can work themselves to the bone and still fail.

      UPS needs workers who can throw their boxes. The workers make $70k a year plus overtime.

      I’m a Giver. I show up. If I were a taker, I would be in Section 8 housing, using an EBT card.

      The next generation has damaged me. Have some heart.

      • > I’m a Giver. I show up.

        “Showing up” is a far, far, different thing than “giving” – your entire spiel above is all about how you unashamedly take without giving back. You’re BRAGGING about it. It’s too late to plead innocent now. Like most conservatives you expect other people to pay your way.

        Me, I had to work for a living. If I phoned it in the way you do I’d be history. Isn’t it nice to have a government sinecure? How are you any different than the people in ‘section 8 housing’ ? At least they aren’t sucking up “six figures” while contributing nothing.

        > No, students have taught me

        Aren’t you the adult in the room? Maybe they be the ones holding down six figures while you scowl and throw sandwiches?

        > Have some heart.

        Pretty typical of a right wing taker. Suck off the public tit, refuse to give anything back, and whine about how you’re the victim.

        27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
        28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
        29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
        30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
        31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

        Luke 6:27-31

        So, on a completely different note, how do you feel about taxes, government waste & corruption?

      • … Maybe they [should] be the ones holding down six figures while you scowl and throw sandwiches?

      • @CH

        I’m taxed way too high, the waste is awful, and the government is corrupt.

      • @CH

        Like any proletariat, I must go where the marketplace leads me and accept my wages.

        I am be the adult in the room, but they are the tyrants and I am Spartacus.

        If you did what I did every day, you would be wearing a MAGA hat.

      • > I’m taxed way too high, the waste is awful, and the government is corrupt.

        Well, at least we can agree on that statement.

        PS. “Whi-i-i-iff.”

  12. I don’t think there was ever some golden age where kids were eager learners who dove into material because they loved it. I’m in my 50s and vividly remember HS. Some topics were better than others. My teachers all seemed to care. I think kids can smell the apathy coming off this person and behave to the low expectations this person has.

    This person’s anecdote about realizing that kids don’t care makes me think it’s this teacher and not necessarily the students.

    My mother was a teacher in a poor district for 30+ years. It was only towards her retirement that she seemed to lack interest and excitement.

    It all makes me think of the old adage: Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. Those that can’t teach, teach gym. Perhaps this person’s in the wrong profession to begin with. As a taxpayer, I’m very much annoyed at the waste going on in the schools. From the teachers to the administrators. If these people don’t wise up, they’re going to create the conditions that the Right is waiting for. Then they’ll come in, dismantle the public education system and leave learning for the wealthy. All the while citing studies that confirm this person’s experience.

    Thanks. You’re the beginning of the end.

    • “they’re going to create the conditions that the Right is waiting for. Then they’ll come in, dismantle the public education system and leave learning for the wealthy. ”

      You are kidding right?
      First those conditions already exist.
      Second you confused “learning” with ” getting a degree”.
      If you have not seen this watch Mike Rowe’s 2008 TED talk

      I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning.
      Mike Rowe

      I go on about US IQ scores.
      I grew up with this guy John, did dope with him, so on.
      John was dumb as a box of rocks.
      John eventually moved to Texas, he did a number of odd jobs and eventually started his own contracting company.
      About ten years later John has gone through three wives, a handful of kids, goes on benders for weeks at a time, and can afford to spend a couple hundred grand yearly in Vegas.
      Between times he works hard and has qualified enough office staff to handle his shortfalls.
      By now, after the disasters, he should be pulling down a couple of mill a year.
      IQ does not equate with success or hard work.

      • «IQ does not equate with success or hard work.» Others may, of course, beg to differ, both with regard to motivation and outcome, but after all, pronouncements on IQ are best left to a self-styled thaumaturge who claims that the average IQ of those who score less than 100 on the test in the United States is 50…. 😉


      • froggy, simple little froggy,
        “self-styled thaumaturge who claims that the average IQ of those who score less than 100 on the test in the United States is 50”

        The AVERAGE IQ in the us is 98, Google it for a big old list of pages which state that. France also has an IQ average of 98. I sorry you didn’t make the cut because you can’t grasp the obvious.
        Can you tie your own shoes? Does your carer need to clean up the poopoo when je me suis chié?
        Is that correct? I don’t speak French.

      • My comments were purely related to a public school education through HS. College is not for everyone, nor should it be. There are plenty of guys I grew up with who weren’t book smart, but were very adept at other things (building, mechanics, welding, etc.). My focus here was primarily on the “teacher.” This person seems to be the problem that is being attributed to the students.

      • «I don’t speak French.» Of course, not, your ability in French seems to be on a par with your ability to understand a normalised distribution, which is used when presenting IQ scores – the mean for the population in question is given a score of 100. Of course, if the same or equivalent tests are given to different groups and scores normalised over the all test takers, then a given group may exhibit an average score that lies above or below that for the population as a whole. Given the state of K-12 education in the United States, of which you, my dear «Wizard» would seem to be a product, it’s hardly surprising that the average there lies below the international norm….

        Be that as it may, you might be advised not to publish your fantasies about shitting yourself and having others wipe you on a public forum….


      • «Why are you thinking about my ass?» You do refer to it and the uses to which you seem to have put it while in prison – and elsewhere as well ? – rather often, my dear «American Teacher», so it’s obviously a matter of great importance to you. Given the avoirdupois you claim, it must indeed be quite a sight…. 😉



      • @Henri

        And you’re still fantasizing while avoiding my questions.

        Do you have Morgellons?

        Are you an incel?

    • « I think kids can smell the apathy coming off this person and behave to the low expectations this person has.» Don’t forget, Chris, in addition to the apathy (with regard to the profession), a good dollop of contempt (at least for those students whose parents don’t make «six figures» -for those whose parents do, no doubt, Uriah Heep comes to the fore)….


    • @Chris

      Unfortunately, I failed to smell the odor of apathy coming off the students quickly enough. I could have saved myself a lot of trauma if I had learned more in six months.

      The foul smell of apathy emanating from students is like dog urine, only harder to wash away. I can’t get it out of my winter coat.

      So even your mom got beaten down. And class has nothing to do with. The children of the bourgeoisie are as apathetic as the children of the rich and poor.

      And Chris, I, too, am fed up with the waste in the public schools. No one knows it better than me. The reams of paper. The books tossed about the room. The free and reduced lunches in the trash. The half-empty buses that still have to run. And yes, the teacher salaries. You could put paras in the room and get the same results for half t he money.

      I’m sick of school districts going to tax payers every year and always saying that they need one or two million more.

      Public education should be dismantled. Parents have destroyed it. Let them pay private school fees if they want their kids educated.

      You’re welcome. This is the end.

      • > I, too, am fed up with the waste in the public schools

        Six figures.
        Phoning it in.

        Knock-knock? McFly? Anybody home?

      • @CH

        It is a disgrace what goes on.

        That is a mark of my honesty, not hypocrisy.

      • «By my penchant for busting people ‘s heads open with baseball bats.» I strongly suspect, my dear «American Teacher» that the «baseball bat» with which you were most familiar was the one placed up your rectum. But nice, try, Walter….



    • To Chris S:

      Re your quote: “If these people don’t wise up, they’re going to create the conditions that the Right is waiting for.”

      The Right is, in major part, the cause of the deteriorating system. From destruction of the teachers unions to federal legislation undermining (otherwise worshipped) “local control,” to governmental subsidies for the private “charter” schools they control.

      Nothing about the collapse of the public school system is by chance. The Right actually does believe that the existence of a healthy democracy depends on a well-informed electorate
      … and it has embarked on a program to be sure Americans are as ignorant as possible.

      How do you think we got His Hairness for president … as a billionaire populist, no less? (Ditto for our “choice” of presidential candidates.)

      • «The Right actually does believe that the existence of a healthy democracy depends on a well-informed electorate
        … and it has embarked on a program to be sure Americans are as ignorant as possible.»

        And, judging by certain posts to these threads, succeeding admirably (?)….


      • Henri,

        That wasn’t fair.

        I knew what Beowulf was. And who Pope was.

        Odious agent provocateur indeed!

      • @Falco

        The left destroyed our schools by turning them into day care centers. Teachers unions are corrupt and ignore and even screw their rank and file.

        Maybe the Right can save them, the schools, that is.

      • «I knew what Beowulf was.» Interesting choice of pronoun. But then again, perhaps English grammar doesn’t constitute part of the syllabus for would be (US-style) football…. 😉


      • «would be (US-style) football» → «would-be (US-style) football coaches»….


      • To American Teacher:

        Re: whose destroying the schools.

        Well, at least your political views are consistent.

      • @Henri

        Beowulf is the title of a poem as well as the name of the protagonist, thus it is acceptable.

        Insufferable bore

        Pompous ass


      • @Falco

        The left has been in charge of education for the last fifty years.

        Let’s give the Koch brothers a chance.

        Some of the disciplinary methods that charters use are innovative, the razor strip, for example.

        Of course, the Koch brothers might not be good for my wallet. More money for public education means more for me.

        It’s a tough call

      • To American Teacher,

        Well you’ve got the part right about the Koch brothers not being good for your wallet.

        So your position is: “Let’s give the Koch brothers a chance to grind me into economic dust.”

        How characteristically working class right-wing … about ALL predatory capitalists.

      • @Falco

        When you force me to make such a stark choice, I find that, par usual, I must act in my own interests.

        Better the nonsense from the left than predation from the right!

        If the Koch brothers take over, I won’t be able to add to my arsenal.

      • «Beowulf is the title of a poem as well as the name of the protagonist» Nice try – for a (US-style) football coach, my odious agent provocateur, but were you referring to the poem, which continues to exist, no doubt due to readers like yourself, then you failed to use the appropriate verbal tense, i e, «is» rather than «was». But as I said, not bad for a self-proclaimed coach in US-style football…. 😉


      • @Henri

        Excellent, in my estimation. Is there nothing that Coach does not know?

      • « Is there nothing that Coach does not know?» Given this particular (US-style) football coach’s difficulties with English grammar, I permit myself to suggest an emendation : «Is there anything that Coach does know ?» – or more colloquially, «Does Coach know anything at all ?» The answer, judging from her/his recent contributions to these threads, is, alas, all too obvious…. 😉


      • @Henri

        Well, at least I know how to subvert my odious, predatory capitalist employers

      • To American Teacher

        Re: Stark Choices

        Good for you, but the choice now is up to the Kochs and their predacious ilk. Your last line of defense was the union(s) whose demise you celebrate.

        Realization of self-interest requires some fore-thought.
        (Note how useless was your arsenal.)

      • «Well, at least I know how to subvert my odious, predatory capitalist employers» Really ? Or are you sure that this «subversion», like your «six figure» – 000000 ? – salary, is not merely one of your fantasies as a Walter Mitty 2.0 gone rotten ?…


      • @Henri

        Are you jealous. Henri? That I make more than you? It is the second time you bring it up.

        Finally, there is an area of which you are most ignorant: the salaries of American teachers. They vary from state to state. Der Lehrer, according to my research on this subject, hails from Arkansas, a very poorly paid teacher state. Of course, the cost of living is less, too.

        New York has the highest salaries. Depending on location and field, a NY teacher can start at $70,000.

        Contracts and general information on teacher salaries are all on line. Look them up.

        I am on a field trip today (museum, then lunch) so please pardon any boo-boos. And guess what? The field trip isn’t even for my class. I crash other teachers’ trips. Isn’t that clever? I don’t even have to organize the trip. I just go along.

      • «Are you jealous. Henri? That I make more than you?» Are you really so stupid, my dear «American Teacher» as to be unaware of how often you have referred with glee to those «six figures» – although admittedly, you are never explicit in what currency – you claim to be making ? Or perhaps your anger at having a bit of fun being poked at your fatuous claims overrides your prudence ? You have no way of knowing how much money I make or have made in my career nor do we have any means to check your claims, and such matters are in any event utterly irrelevant to the concerns of this forum. But I understand why a person with a subsolid ego like yourself would find it necessary to frequently make such assertions….



      • @Henri

        Tsk, tsk, my, but your feathers are ruffled.

        You’re not, by any chance, on relief are you?

        Sorry I can’t write more. I’m on the field trip. All this beautiful art makes me hungry. Can’t wait for lunch.

      • «You’re not, by any chance, on relief are you?» Are you referring, my dear «American Teacher» to the same «chance» that you might have a «six-figure» income ? Not to worry, I manage to make ends meet and, unlike yourself, don’t need to construct an imaginary life to shore up a fragile ego….



      • @Henri

        I’m glad my stomach isn’t fragile. I’m getting ready to chow down on scungilli. And you know what’s great? I don’t even have to pay for it! The kids pay for it as part of their trip!

      • @Falco

        I do not celebrate the demise of the unions. Unions need to support their rank and file and stop selling their members out.

        If labor could be reinvigorated, the Koch brothers would not pose such a threat.

      • «I’m getting ready to chow down on scungilli. And you know what’s great? I don’t even have to pay for it! The kids pay for it as part of their trip!» A (US-style) football coach, claiming to have a «six-figure» income, overjoyed at not having to pay for her/his own scungilli ! Nice work if you can get it, Ebenezer…. 😉


      • @Henri

        I’m starting in on the tiramisu and then heading home. I need a nap after this hard day’s work.

        Scrooge, indeed. He ate gruel in a run-down tavern. I’m living large!

      • « I’m living large!» In your daydreams, «American Teacher», in your daydreams. A person with a «six-figure» income would hardly brag about living off the food brought by students to a field trip….

        A fatuous fraud – and as noted previously,



      • @Henri

        I have no shame. I crash events at colleges for the food.

        It’s a carryover from my days with Ma in the hills of West Virginia. You remember, when I had my baseball bat.

      • @Henri

        I’ll tell you two things new.

        I weigh 305 lbs. And I eat with a snow shovel.

      • «I weigh 305 lbs. And I eat with a snow shovel.» Fascinating, «American Teacher». And you have a «six-figure» income, steal food (but not hoagies !) from your students, are a phenomenally successful (US-style) football coach, etc, etc, etc. The nearest clinical diagnosis which comes to mind is Korsakoff syndrome…. 😉


      • @Henri

        I’ve had an interesting life, Henri.

        I do like my liquor, but I get enough Vitamin B1 that I don’t think Korsakoff will ever be a problem. (Low carb diets are very dangerous.)

        Incidentally, I once crashed a reception for people with Morgellons Disease. Didn’t I see you there?

      • «… but I get enough Vitamin B1 that I don’t think Korsakoff will ever be a problem.» Given the degree of confabulation that your posts to these threads exhibit, my dear «American Teacher», I fear you are mistaken. But that’s to be expected of a Korsakoff sufferer, is it not ?…



      • @Henri

        But I did meet you at that reception, didn’t I? You are suffering from Morgellons Disease, n’est ce-pas? You were the one with the black, stringy material coming out of your nose?

      • «But I did meet you at that reception, didn’t I?» Most unlikely, my dear «American Teacher» ; I’m quite sure I’d recall someone weighing nearly 140 kg and who ate with a shovel. But do continue with your confabulations, while not as amusing as some of heard from my patients, they do tend to confirm the diagnosis…. 😉



      • @Henri

        I’m quite sure that I could never forget such a pompous, insufferable ass.

        Don’t ever end up in prison, Henri. You’d drop the soap and end up someone’s bitch.

      • «Don’t ever end up in prison, Henri. You’d drop the soap and end up someone’s bitch.» No doubt you also have extensive experience of «soap-dropping», my dear «American Teacher». I expect Sergei Sergeievich is applauding in admiration…. 😉


      • @Henri

        Sexual abuse is very common in prisons, Henri. And soap is slippery. And you come across like someone who would have a target on his back.

      • «Sexual abuse is very common in prisons, …» You would seem to be speaking from experience, my dear «American Teacher» Is that why you conceal your identity here behind an – at least one – absurd pseudonym ? Perhaps you should seek a therapy groups for victims of sexual abuse ?…



      • @Henri

        Unfortunately, yes, I do have prison experience. They threw the book at me, ten counts, eight to ten years, to run concurrently. But I was out in three months.

        The guards wanted me gone. They were petrified.

      • «The guards wanted me gone. They were petrified.» By the diseases you were spreading with your penchant for dropping the soap ?…



      • @Henri

        By my penchant for busting people ‘s heads open with baseball bats.

        I’m going to ask you a deeply personal question, Henri.

        Are you an incel?

  13. Steven Salaita loved teaching.

    He was fired despite having had tenure because he expressed doubts with respect to orthodoxies.

    He was awarded $800,000 for his firing.

    So instead of a life in teaching he was given the substitute of monetary compensation.

    It seems both of you have had to learn and accept the limits imposed by a system that purges doubters and highly values indoctrination.

    • @Glenn

      I’d love my bosses to try something as stupid as what happened to Salaita, but they’re too sophisticated.

      Still, I can always dream of a payday.

  14. It took me just six months to realize that students have no interest in Sophocles or Beowulf.

    Quick on the uptake, are you not, «American Teacher» ? I fear not even that «six figure» income you so modestly claim (in Zimbabwean dollars ?) will help you to grasp things more rapidly…. 😉


    • Henri,
      You have supported my point on low US iq’s.
      Read up on John Ogbu and Shaker Heights.
      I also noticed the “teacher” didn’t mention the union nor returning any percentage of income for failing to actually do the required job.
      No guilt eh?
      As a taxpayer I strongly feel that if children don’t want to learn they should not be in schools. That every teacher and administrator should receive minimum wage. That the students who chose not to learn should be immediately employed repairing failing infrastructure. Children young as six used to sort coal, I’m fairly certain they can spread asphalt. Thus again saving taxpayers expensive scam private construction contracts.
      Those children can receive minimum wage too and their parents will be supported not by a social safety net but by the labors of family. Of which they should be working alongside.
      The choice is pissing money away into a system bound to fail, or actually receiving some public benefit in the form of tax cuts due to the now inexpensive labor.
      Children wishing to learn can merely log into the free MIT courses and work at their own level.
      Again not requiring a teacher thus saving even more money.
      I think any teacher, especially the reassignment center ones, can use a pick and shovel.
      Consider that no one creates songs about trains, truckers, or work in general anymore.
      With luck there will be an entirely new level of music along the lines of Red Sovine’s Six days on the road, Tennessee Ernie Fords Sixteen tons, or Proud Mary.

    • @Henri

      “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”

      Alexander Pope. “An Essay on Man”

      Not bad for a football coach, huh?

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